The draft genome of Kipferlia bialata reveals reductive genome evolution in fornicate parasites

Goro Tanifuji, Shun Takabayashi, Keitaro Kume, Mizue Takagi, Takuro Nakayama, Ryoma Kamikawa, Yuji Inagaki, Tetsuo Hashimoto

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    13 Citations (Scopus)


    The fornicata (fornicates) is a eukaryotic group known to consist of free-living and parasitic organisms. Genome datasets of two model fornicate parasites Giardia intestinalis and Spironucleus salmonicida are well annotated, so far. The nuclear genomes of G. intestinalis assemblages and S. salmonicida are small in terms of the genome size and simple in genome structure. However, an ancestral genomic structure and gene contents, from which genomes of the fornicate parasites have evolved, remains to be clarified. In order to understand genome evolution in fornicates, here, we present the draft genome sequence of a free-living fornicate, Kipferlia bialata, the divergence of which is earlier than those of the fornicate parasites, and compare it to the genomes of G. intestinalis and S. salmonicida. Our data show that the number of protein genes and introns in K. bialata genome are the most abundant in the genomes of three fornicates, reflecting an ancestral state of fornicate genome evolution. Evasion mechanisms of host immunity found in G. intestinalis and S. salmonicida are absent in the K. bialata genome, suggesting that the two parasites acquired the complex membrane surface proteins on the line leading to the common ancestor of G. intestinalis and S. salmonicida after the divergence from K. bialata. Furthermore, the mitochondrion related organelles (MROs) of K. bialata possess more complex suites of metabolic pathways than those in Giardia and in Spironucleus. In sum, our results unveil the process of reductive evolution which shaped the current genomes in two model fornicate parasites G. intestinalis and S. salmonicida.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere0194487
    JournalPloS one
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2018 Mar

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
    • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
    • General


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