Publications by authors named "Nigel Fosker"

7 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

The zebrafish reference genome sequence and its relationship to the human genome.

Nature 2013 Apr 17;496(7446):498-503. Epub 2013 Apr 17.

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge CB10 1SA, UK.

Zebrafish have become a popular organism for the study of vertebrate gene function. The virtually transparent embryos of this species, and the ability to accelerate genetic studies by gene knockdown or overexpression, have led to the widespread use of zebrafish in the detailed investigation of vertebrate gene function and increasingly, the study of human genetic disease. However, for effective modelling of human genetic disease it is important to understand the extent to which zebrafish genes and gene structures are related to orthologous human genes. To examine this, we generated a high-quality sequence assembly of the zebrafish genome, made up of an overlapping set of completely sequenced large-insert clones that were ordered and oriented using a high-resolution high-density meiotic map. Detailed automatic and manual annotation provides evidence of more than 26,000 protein-coding genes, the largest gene set of any vertebrate so far sequenced. Comparison to the human reference genome shows that approximately 70% of human genes have at least one obvious zebrafish orthologue. In addition, the high quality of this genome assembly provides a clearer understanding of key genomic features such as a unique repeat content, a scarcity of pseudogenes, an enrichment of zebrafish-specific genes on chromosome 4 and chromosomal regions that influence sex determination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature12111DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3703927PMC
April 2013

Common inheritance of chromosome Ia associated with clonal expansion of Toxoplasma gondii.

Genome Res 2006 Sep 10;16(9):1119-25. Epub 2006 Aug 10.

Department of Molecular Microbiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.

Toxoplasma gondii is a globally distributed protozoan parasite that can infect virtually all warm-blooded animals and humans. Despite the existence of a sexual phase in the life cycle, T. gondii has an unusual population structure dominated by three clonal lineages that predominate in North America and Europe, (Types I, II, and III). These lineages were founded by common ancestors approximately10,000 yr ago. The recent origin and widespread distribution of the clonal lineages is attributed to the circumvention of the sexual cycle by a new mode of transmission-asexual transmission between intermediate hosts. Asexual transmission appears to be multigenic and although the specific genes mediating this trait are unknown, it is predicted that all members of the clonal lineages should share the same alleles. Genetic mapping studies suggested that chromosome Ia was unusually monomorphic compared with the rest of the genome. To investigate this further, we sequenced chromosome Ia and chromosome Ib in the Type I strain, RH, and the Type II strain, ME49. Comparative genome analyses of the two chromosomal sequences revealed that the same copy of chromosome Ia was inherited in each lineage, whereas chromosome Ib maintained the same high frequency of between-strain polymorphism as the rest of the genome. Sampling of chromosome Ia sequence in seven additional representative strains from the three clonal lineages supports a monomorphic inheritance, which is unique within the genome. Taken together, our observations implicate a specific combination of alleles on chromosome Ia in the recent origin and widespread success of the clonal lineages of T. gondii.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/gr.5318106DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1557770PMC
September 2006

Genomic sequence of the pathogenic and allergenic filamentous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus.

Nature 2005 Dec;438(7071):1151-6

The Institute for Genomic Research, Rockville, Maryland 20850, USA.

Aspergillus fumigatus is exceptional among microorganisms in being both a primary and opportunistic pathogen as well as a major allergen. Its conidia production is prolific, and so human respiratory tract exposure is almost constant. A. fumigatus is isolated from human habitats and vegetable compost heaps. In immunocompromised individuals, the incidence of invasive infection can be as high as 50% and the mortality rate is often about 50% (ref. 2). The interaction of A. fumigatus and other airborne fungi with the immune system is increasingly linked to severe asthma and sinusitis. Although the burden of invasive disease caused by A. fumigatus is substantial, the basic biology of the organism is mostly obscure. Here we show the complete 29.4-megabase genome sequence of the clinical isolate Af293, which consists of eight chromosomes containing 9,926 predicted genes. Microarray analysis revealed temperature-dependent expression of distinct sets of genes, as well as 700 A. fumigatus genes not present or significantly diverged in the closely related sexual species Neosartorya fischeri, many of which may have roles in the pathogenicity phenotype. The Af293 genome sequence provides an unparalleled resource for the future understanding of this remarkable fungus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature04332DOI Listing
December 2005

The genome of the kinetoplastid parasite, Leishmania major.

Science 2005 Jul;309(5733):436-42

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridgeshire CB10 1SA, UK.

Leishmania species cause a spectrum of human diseases in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. We have sequenced the 36 chromosomes of the 32.8-megabase haploid genome of Leishmania major (Friedlin strain) and predict 911 RNA genes, 39 pseudogenes, and 8272 protein-coding genes, of which 36% can be ascribed a putative function. These include genes involved in host-pathogen interactions, such as proteolytic enzymes, and extensive machinery for synthesis of complex surface glycoconjugates. The organization of protein-coding genes into long, strand-specific, polycistronic clusters and lack of general transcription factors in the L. major, Trypanosoma brucei, and Trypanosoma cruzi (Tritryp) genomes suggest that the mechanisms regulating RNA polymerase II-directed transcription are distinct from those operating in other eukaryotes, although the trypanosomatids appear capable of chromatin remodeling. Abundant RNA-binding proteins are encoded in the Tritryp genomes, consistent with active posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1112680DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470643PMC
July 2005

Genome of the host-cell transforming parasite Theileria annulata compared with T. parva.

Science 2005 Jul;309(5731):131-3

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge CB10 1SA, UK.

Theileria annulata and T. parva are closely related protozoan parasites that cause lymphoproliferative diseases of cattle. We sequenced the genome of T. annulata and compared it with that of T. parva to understand the mechanisms underlying transformation and tropism. Despite high conservation of gene sequences and synteny, the analysis reveals unequally expanded gene families and species-specific genes. We also identify divergent families of putative secreted polypeptides that may reduce immune recognition, candidate regulators of host-cell transformation, and a Theileria-specific protein domain [frequently associated in Theileria (FAINT)] present in a large number of secreted proteins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1110418DOI Listing
July 2005

Gene arrays at Pneumocystis carinii telomeres.

Genetics 2005 Aug 18;170(4):1589-600. Epub 2005 Jun 18.

Department of Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio 45267, USA.

In the fungus Pneumocystis carinii, at least three gene families (PRT1, MSR, and MSG) have the potential to generate high-frequency antigenic variation, which is likely to be a strategy by which this parasitic fungus is able to prolong its survival in the rat lung. Members of these gene families are clustered at chromosome termini, a location that fosters recombination, which has been implicated in selective expression of MSG genes. To gain insight into the architecture, evolution, and regulation of these gene clusters, six telomeric segments of the genome were sequenced. Each of the segments began with one or more unique genes, after which were members of different gene families, arranged in a head-to-tail array. The three-gene repeat PRT1-MSR-MSG was common, suggesting that duplications of these repeats have contributed to expansion of all three families. However, members of a gene family in an array were no more similar to one another than to members in other arrays, indicating rapid divergence after duplication. The intergenic spacers were more conserved than the genes and contained sequence motifs also present in subtelomeres, which in other species have been implicated in gene expression and recombination. Long mononucleotide tracts were present in some MSR genes. These unstable sequences can be expected to suffer frequent frameshift mutations, providing P. carinii with another mechanism to generate antigen variation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1534/genetics.105.040733DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1449779PMC
August 2005

Insight into the genome of Aspergillus fumigatus: analysis of a 922 kb region encompassing the nitrate assimilation gene cluster.

Fungal Genet Biol 2004 Apr;41(4):443-53

The Pathogen Sequencing Unit, The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge CB10 1SA, UK.

Aspergillus fumigatus is the most ubiquitous opportunistic filamentous fungal pathogen of human. As an initial step toward sequencing the entire genome of A. fumigatus, which is estimated to be approximately 30 Mb in size, we have sequenced a 922 kb region, contained within 16 overlapping bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones. Fifty-four percent of the DNA is predicted to be coding with 341 putative protein coding genes. Functional classification of the proteins showed the presence of a higher proportion of enzymes and membrane transporters when compared to those of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In addition to the nitrate assimilation gene cluster, the quinate utilisation gene cluster is also present on this 922 kb genomic sequence. We observed large scale synteny between A. fumigatus and Aspergillus nidulans by comparing this sequence to the A. nidulans genetic map of linkage group VIII.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fgb.2003.12.003DOI Listing
April 2004
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