Submitted to: Foodborne Pathogens and Disease
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: March 30, 2010
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Sequencing and characterizing the genome of Toxoplasma gondii were prioritized in order to foster insights into the biology of not only this ubiquitous zoonotic parasite, but of the Apicomplexa parasites, more generally. These broader goals were justified owing to the fact that this prevalent zoonotic parasite also serves as an especially amenable research subject which therefore serves as an experimental model of the diverse phylum of parasitic protists. Collectively, these parasites endanger the health of people and the animals we value. Understanding one organism should foster understanding in those to which it is evolutionarily related, especially in those that continue to share important basic biological features. This chapter documents the impact of this effort by reviewing subsequent progress that has cited the T. gondii genome project.
The purpose of this review is to provide some assessment of the extent to which the promise of Toxoplasma gondii genomics yet been realized. To do so, I will first describe the available genomic resources. I then provide an overview of those aspects of toxoplasmosis research that have grown most (and least) as a consequence of these resources. In an attempt to then estimate and describe the ‘attributable fraction’ of progress owed to genomic biology (as distinguished from those insights which have only coincidently been reported in recent years) most of this chapter shall review the hundred (or so) papers that acknowledge cite either of several key developments in T. gondii genomics. The review closes with some additional perspectives intended to expand upon and supplement the documented record of developments made possible by genomic biology, including a discussion of literature which may only indirectly establish that causal link.