Gender-enriched transcripts in Haemonchus contortus - predicted functions and genetic interactions based on comparative analyses with Caenorhabditis elegans

Bronwyn E. Campbell*, Shivashankar H. Nagaraj, Min Hu, Weiwei Zhong, Paul W. Sternberg, Eng K. Ong, Alex Loukas, Shoba Ranganathan, Ian Beveridge, Russell L. McInnes, Gareth W. Hutchinson, Robin B. Gasser

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    35 Citations (Scopus)


    In the present study, a bioinformatic-microarray approach was employed for the analysis of selected expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from Haemonchus contortus, a key parasitic nematode of small ruminants. Following a bioinformatic analysis of EST data using a semiautomated pipeline, 1885 representative ESTs (rESTs) were selected, to which oligonucleotides (three per EST) were designed and spotted on to a microarray. This microarray was hybridized with cyanine-dye labelled cRNA probes synthesized from RNA from female or male adults of H. contortus. Differential hybridisation was displayed for 301 of the 1885 rESTs (∼16%). Of these, 165 (55%) had significantly greater signal intensities for female cRNA and 136 (45%) for male cRNA. Of these, 113 with increased signals in female or male H. contortus had homologues in Caenorhabditis elegans, predicted to function in metabolism, information storage and processing, cellular processes and signalling, and embryonic and/or larval development. Of the rESTs with no known homologues in C. elegans, 24 (∼40%) had homologues in other nematodes, four had homologues in various other organisms and 30 (52%) had no homology to any sequence in current gene databases. A genetic interaction network was predicted for the C. elegans orthologues of the gender-enriched H. contortus genes, and a focused analysis of a subset revealed a tight network of molecules involved in amino acid, carbohydrate or lipid transport and metabolism, energy production and conversion, translation, ribosomal structure and biogenesis and, importantly, those associated with meiosis and/or mitosis in the germline during oogenesis or spermatogenesis. This study provides a foundation for the molecular, biochemical and functional exploration of selected molecules with differential transcription profiles in H. contortus, for further microarray analyses of transcription in different developmental stages of H. contortus, and for an extended functional analysis once the full genome sequence of this nematode is known. Crown

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)65-83
    Number of pages19
    JournalInternational Journal for Parasitology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008


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