Genomic sequence capture of Plasmodium relictum in experimentally infected birds

Creative Commons License

Ellis V. A., Kalbskopf V., ÇİLOĞLU A., Duc M., Huang X., İNCİ A., ...More

Parasites and Vectors, vol.15, no.1, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 15 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/s13071-022-05373-w
  • Journal Name: Parasites and Vectors
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: Avian malaria, Parasitemia, Haemosporida, Hybrid enrichment, Parasite genomics, MALARIA PARASITES, HAEMOPROTEUS, HAEMOSPORIDIANS, EVOLUTION, SUITE, DNA
  • Kayseri University Affiliated: No


© 2022, The Author(s).Background: Sequencing parasite genomes in the presence of host DNA is challenging. Sequence capture can overcome this problem by using RNA probes that hybridize with the parasite DNA and then are removed from solution, thus isolating the parasite DNA for efficient sequencing. Methods: Here we describe a set of sequence capture probes designed to target 1035 genes (c. 2.5 Mbp) of the globally distributed avian haemosporidian parasite, Plasmodium relictum. Previous sequence capture studies of avian haemosporidians from the genus Haemoproteus have shown that sequencing success depends on parasitemia, with low-intensity, chronic infections (typical of most infected birds in the wild) often being difficult to sequence. We evaluate the relationship between parasitemia and sequencing success using birds experimentally infected with P. relictum and kept under laboratory conditions. Results: We confirm the dependence of sequencing success on parasitemia. Sequencing success was low for birds with low levels of parasitemia (< 1% infected red blood cells) and high for birds with higher levels of parasitemia. Plasmodium relictum is composed of multiple lineages defined by their mitochondrial DNA haplotype including three that are widespread (SGS1, GRW11, and GRW4); the probes successfully isolated DNA from all three. Furthermore, we used data from 25 genes to describe both among- and within-lineage genetic variation. For example, two samples of SGS1 isolated from different host species differed by 11 substitutions across those 25 genes. Conclusions: The sequence capture approach we describe will allow for the generation of genomic data that will contribute to our understanding of the population genetic structure and evolutionary history of P. relictum, an extreme host generalist and widespread parasite. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].