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1.  Comparative genomics of the neglected human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax 
Nature  2008;455(7214):757-763.
The human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax is responsible for 25-40% of the ~515 million annual cases of malaria worldwide. Although seldom fatal, the parasite elicits severe and incapacitating clinical symptoms and often relapses months after a primary infection has cleared. Despite its importance as a major human pathogen, P. vivax is little studied because it cannot be propagated in the laboratory except in non-human primates. We determined the genome sequence of P. vivax in order to shed light on its distinctive biologic features, and as a means to drive development of new drugs and vaccines. Here we describe the synteny and isochore structure of P. vivax chromosomes, and show that the parasite resembles other malaria parasites in gene content and metabolic potential, but possesses novel gene families and potential alternate invasion pathways not recognized previously. Completion of the P. vivax genome provides the scientific community with a valuable resource that can be used to advance scientific investigation into this neglected species.
PMCID: PMC2651158  PMID: 18843361
2.  Draft Genome Sequence of the Sexually Transmitted Pathogen Trichomonas vaginalis 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2007;315(5809):207-212.
We describe the genome sequence of the protist Trichomonas vaginalis, a sexually transmitted human pathogen. Repeats and transposable elements comprise about two-thirds of the ~160-megabase genome, reflecting a recent massive expansion of genetic material. This expansion, in conjunction with the shaping of metabolic pathways that likely transpired through lateral gene transfer from bacteria, and amplification of specific gene families implicated in pathogenesis and phagocytosis of host proteins may exemplify adaptations of the parasite during its transition to a urogenital environment. The genome sequence predicts previously unknown functions for the hydrogenosome, which support a common evolutionary origin of this unusual organelle with mitochondria.
PMCID: PMC2080659  PMID: 17218520
3.  Complete Genome Sequence of the Broad-Host-Range Vibriophage KVP40: Comparative Genomics of a T4-Related Bacteriophage 
Journal of Bacteriology  2003;185(17):5220-5233.
The complete genome sequence of the T4-like, broad-host-range vibriophage KVP40 has been determined. The genome sequence is 244,835 bp, with an overall G+C content of 42.6%. It encodes 386 putative protein-encoding open reading frames (CDSs), 30 tRNAs, 33 T4-like late promoters, and 57 potential rho-independent terminators. Overall, 92.1% of the KVP40 genome is coding, with an average CDS size of 587 bp. While 65% of the CDSs were unique to KVP40 and had no known function, the genome sequence and organization show specific regions of extensive conservation with phage T4. At least 99 KVP40 CDSs have homologs in the T4 genome (Blast alignments of 45 to 68% amino acid similarity). The shared CDSs represent 36% of all T4 CDSs but only 26% of those from KVP40. There is extensive representation of the DNA replication, recombination, and repair enzymes as well as the viral capsid and tail structural genes. KVP40 lacks several T4 enzymes involved in host DNA degradation, appears not to synthesize the modified cytosine (hydroxymethyl glucose) present in T-even phages, and lacks group I introns. KVP40 likely utilizes the T4-type sigma-55 late transcription apparatus, but features of early- or middle-mode transcription were not identified. There are 26 CDSs that have no viral homolog, and many did not necessarily originate from Vibrio spp., suggesting an even broader host range for KVP40. From these latter CDSs, an NAD salvage pathway was inferred that appears to be unique among bacteriophages. Features of the KVP40 genome that distinguish it from T4 are presented, as well as those, such as the replication and virion gene clusters, that are substantially conserved.
PMCID: PMC180978  PMID: 12923095
4.  Genomic Insights into Methanotrophy: The Complete Genome Sequence of Methylococcus capsulatus (Bath) 
PLoS Biology  2004;2(10):e303.
Methanotrophs are ubiquitous bacteria that can use the greenhouse gas methane as a sole carbon and energy source for growth, thus playing major roles in global carbon cycles, and in particular, substantially reducing emissions of biologically generated methane to the atmosphere. Despite their importance, and in contrast to organisms that play roles in other major parts of the carbon cycle such as photosynthesis, no genome-level studies have been published on the biology of methanotrophs. We report the first complete genome sequence to our knowledge from an obligate methanotroph, Methylococcus capsulatus (Bath), obtained by the shotgun sequencing approach. Analysis revealed a 3.3-Mb genome highly specialized for a methanotrophic lifestyle, including redundant pathways predicted to be involved in methanotrophy and duplicated genes for essential enzymes such as the methane monooxygenases. We used phylogenomic analysis, gene order information, and comparative analysis with the partially sequenced methylotroph Methylobacterium extorquens to detect genes of unknown function likely to be involved in methanotrophy and methylotrophy. Genome analysis suggests the ability of M. capsulatus to scavenge copper (including a previously unreported nonribosomal peptide synthetase) and to use copper in regulation of methanotrophy, but the exact regulatory mechanisms remain unclear. One of the most surprising outcomes of the project is evidence suggesting the existence of previously unsuspected metabolic flexibility in M. capsulatus, including an ability to grow on sugars, oxidize chemolithotrophic hydrogen and sulfur, and live under reduced oxygen tension, all of which have implications for methanotroph ecology. The availability of the complete genome of M. capsulatus (Bath) deepens our understanding of methanotroph biology and its relationship to global carbon cycles. We have gained evidence for greater metabolic flexibility than was previously known, and for genetic components that may have biotechnological potential.
Methanotrophs are bacteria that use methane as a sole carbon source. The genome sequence of Methylococcus capsulatus deepens our understanding of methanotroph biology and its relationship to global carbon cycles
PMCID: PMC517821  PMID: 15383840

Results 1-4 (4)