The genomic basis of parasitism in the Strongyloides clade of nematodes

Vicky L. Hunt, Isheng J. Tsai, Avril Coghlan, Adam J. Reid, Nancy Holroyd, Bernardo J. Foth, Alan Tracey, James A. Cotton, Eleanor J. Stanley, Helen Beasley, Hayley M. Bennett, Karen Brooks, Bhavana Harsha, Rei Kajitani, Arpita Kulkarni, Dorothee Harbecke, Eiji Nagayasu, Sarah Nichol, Yoshitoshi Ogura, Michael A. QuailNadine Randle, Dong Xia, Norbert W. Brattig, Hanns Soblik, Diogo M. Ribeiro, Alejandro Sanchez-Flores, Tetsuya Hayashi, Takehiko Itoh, Dee R. Denver, Warwick Grant, Jonathan D. Stoltzfus, James B. Lok, Haruhiko Murayama, Jonathan Wastling, Adrian Streit, Taisei Kikuchi, Mark Viney, Matthew Berriman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

178 Citations (Scopus)


Soil-transmitted nematodes, including the Strongyloides genus, cause one of the most prevalent neglected tropical diseases. Here we compare the genomes of four Strongyloides species, including the human pathogen Strongyloides stercoralis, and their close relatives that are facultatively parasitic (Parastrongyloides trichosuri) and free-living (Rhabditophanes sp. KR3021). A significant paralogous expansion of key gene families - families encoding astacin-like and SCP/TAPS proteins - is associated with the evolution of parasitism in this clade. Exploiting the unique Strongyloides life cycle, we compare the transcriptomes of the parasitic and free-living stages and find that these same gene families are upregulated in the parasitic stages, underscoring their role in nematode parasitism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-307
Number of pages9
JournalNature genetics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics


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