Location: Animal Disease Research
Project Number: 2090-32000-040-040-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: May 1, 2023
End Date: Apr 30, 2024
The genome sequence of the Apicomplexan protozoan parasite Babesia caballi will provide the complete set of genes and their relationship such that predictions can be made about lifecycle, adaptation to vertebrate and invertebrate host, and clues about vaccination and/or chemotherapeutic treatment to prevent disease. In addition, comparison to completed genomes of other economically important parasites, such as Babesia bovis and B. bigemina, will allow hypothesis to be formed and tested a related pathogen of horses. The completed genome and annotated gene set will be publicly available for the research community compare and make hypotheses even for human diseases.
Our Unit has generated long-read PacBio DNA sequences from the organism Babesia caballi. Our collaborators at the University of Maryland have generated short-read Illumina DNA sequences from the same isolate of the organism. The approach is to combine the long- and short-read sequences bioinformatically to achieve a superior genome assembly. The University of Maryland Institute for Genomic Sciences (IGS) has developed software and has extensive experience do such assemblies, including quality control measures for the most accurate resolution of the genome sequence. Thereafter, annotation of the gene set will take place using various bioinformatic tools, and IGS will host on a computer platform access for Unit scientists to manually ‘curate’, that is view and correct, gene structures for a final annotation. Various analyses will be provided by IGS to catalog the genes by type and function. IGS will lead in the process to make the genome and annotation public. Technical advice will be available to Unit scientists in the development of a manuscript for publication of findings in analysis of the genome and annotation.