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  1. Amiruddin N, Lee XW, Blake DP, Suzuki Y, Tay YL, Lim LS, et al.
    BMC Genomics, 2012 Jan 13;13:21.
    PMID: 22244352 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2164-13-21
    BACKGROUND: Eimeria tenella is an apicomplexan parasite that causes coccidiosis in the domestic fowl. Infection with this parasite is diagnosed frequently in intensively reared poultry and its control is usually accorded a high priority, especially in chickens raised for meat. Prophylactic chemotherapy has been the primary method used for the control of coccidiosis. However, drug efficacy can be compromised by drug-resistant parasites and the lack of new drugs highlights demands for alternative control strategies including vaccination. In the long term, sustainable control of coccidiosis will most likely be achieved through integrated drug and vaccination programmes. Characterisation of the E. tenella transcriptome may provide a better understanding of the biology of the parasite and aid in the development of a more effective control for coccidiosis.

    RESULTS: More than 15,000 partial sequences were generated from the 5' and 3' ends of clones randomly selected from an E. tenella second generation merozoite full-length cDNA library. Clustering of these sequences produced 1,529 unique transcripts (UTs). Based on the transcript assembly and subsequently primer walking, 433 full-length cDNA sequences were successfully generated. These sequences varied in length, ranging from 441 bp to 3,083 bp, with an average size of 1,647 bp. Simple sequence repeat (SSR) analysis identified CAG as the most abundant trinucleotide motif, while codon usage analysis revealed that the ten most infrequently used codons in E. tenella are UAU, UGU, GUA, CAU, AUA, CGA, UUA, CUA, CGU and AGU. Subsequent analysis of the E. tenella complete coding sequences identified 25 putative secretory and 60 putative surface proteins, all of which are now rational candidates for development as recombinant vaccines or drug targets in the effort to control avian coccidiosis.

    CONCLUSIONS: This paper describes the generation and characterisation of full-length cDNA sequences from E. tenella second generation merozoites and provides new insights into the E. tenella transcriptome. The data generated will be useful for the development and validation of diagnostic and control strategies for coccidiosis and will be of value in annotation of the E. tenella genome sequence.

  2. Ng SM, Lee XW, Mat-Isa MN, Aizat-Juhari MA, Adam JH, Mohamed R, et al.
    Sci Rep, 2018 11 22;8(1):17258.
    PMID: 30467394 DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-35173-1
    Parasitic plants are known to discard photosynthesis thus leading to the deletion or loss of the plastid genes. Despite plastid genome reduction in non-photosynthetic plants, some nucleus-encoded proteins are transported back to the plastid to carry out specific functions. In this work, we study such proteins in Rafflesia cantleyi, a member of the holoparasitic genus well-known for producing the largest single flower in the world. Our analyses of three transcriptome datasets, two holoparasites (R. cantleyi and Phelipanche aegyptiaca) and one photosynthetic plant (Arabidopsis thaliana), suggest that holoparasites, such as R. cantleyi, retain some common plastid associated processes such as biosynthesis of amino acids and lipids, but are missing photosynthesis components that can be extensions of these pathways. The reconstruction of two selected biosynthetic pathways involving plastids correlates the trend of plastid retention to pathway complexity - transcriptome evidence for R. cantleyi suggests alternate mechanisms in regulating the plastidial heme and terpenoid backbone biosynthesis pathways. The evolution to holoparasitism from autotrophy trends towards devolving the plastid genes to the nuclear genome despite the functional sites remaining in the plastid, or maintaining non-photosynthetic processes in the plastid, before the eventual loss of the plastid and any site dependent functions.
  3. Lee XW, Mat-Isa MN, Mohd-Elias NA, Aizat-Juhari MA, Goh HH, Dear PH, et al.
    PLoS One, 2016;11(12):e0167958.
    PMID: 27977777 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0167958
    Rafflesia is a biologically enigmatic species that is very rare in occurrence and possesses an extraordinary morphology. This parasitic plant produces a gigantic flower up to one metre in diameter with no leaves, stem or roots. However, little is known about the floral biology of this species especially at the molecular level. In an effort to address this issue, we have generated and characterised the transcriptome of the Rafflesia cantleyi flower, and performed a comparison with the transcriptome of its floral bud to predict genes that are expressed and regulated during flower development. Approximately 40 million sequencing reads were generated and assembled de novo into 18,053 transcripts with an average length of 641 bp. Of these, more than 79% of the transcripts had significant matches to annotated sequences in the public protein database. A total of 11,756 and 7,891 transcripts were assigned to Gene Ontology categories and clusters of orthologous groups respectively. In addition, 6,019 transcripts could be mapped to 129 pathways in Kyoto Encyclopaedia of Genes and Genomes Pathway database. Digital abundance analysis identified 52 transcripts with very high expression in the flower transcriptome of R. cantleyi. Subsequently, analysis of differential expression between developing flower and the floral bud revealed a set of 105 transcripts with potential role in flower development. Our work presents a deep transcriptome resource analysis for the developing flower of R. cantleyi. Genes potentially involved in the growth and development of the R. cantleyi flower were identified and provide insights into biological processes that occur during flower development.
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