Ndikumana, S., Pelin, A., Williot, A., Sanders, J.L., Kent, M., Corradi, N. (2016) Genome Analysis of Pseudoloma neurophilia: a Microsporidian Parasite of Zebrafish (Danio rerio). The Journal of eukaryotic microbiology. 64(1):18-30.
Microsporidia are highly successful parasites that infect virtually all known animal lineages, including the model Danio rerio (zebrafish). The widespread use of this aquatic model for biomedical research has resulted in an unexpected increase in infections from the microsporidium Pseudoloma neurophilia, which can lead to significant physical, behavioral, and immunological modifications, resulting in nonprotocol variation during experimental procedures. Here, we seek to obtain insights into the biology of P. neurophilia by investigating its genome content, which was obtained from only 29 nanograms of DNA using the MiSeq technology and paired-end Illumina sequencing. We found that the genome of P. neurophilia is phylogenetically and genetically related to other fish-microsporidians, but features unique to this intracellular parasite are also found. The small 5.25-Mb genome assembly includes 1,139 unique open-reading frames and an unusually high number of transposable elements for such a small genome. Investigations of intragenomic diversity also provided strong indications that the mononucleate nucleus of this species is diploid. Overall, our study provides insights into the dynamics of microsporidian genomes and a solid sequence reference to be used in future studies of host–parasite interactions using the zebrafish D. rerio and P. neurophilia as a model.