The genomic basis of nematode parasitism

Mark Viney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
195 Downloads (Pure)


Nematodes are highly abundant animals, and many species have a parasitic lifestyle. Nematode parasites are important pathogens of humans and other animals, and there is considerable interest in understanding their molecular and genomic adaptations to nematode parasitism. This has been approached in three main ways: comparing the genomes of closely related parasitic and free-living taxa, comparing the gene expression of parasitic and free-living life-cycle stages of parasitic nematode species, and analysing the molecules that parasitic nematodes excrete and secrete. To date these studies show that many species of parasitic nematodes have genomes that have large gene families coding for proteases / peptidases, protease inhibitors, SCP/TAPS proteins and acetycholinesterases, and in many cases there is evidence that these appear to be used by parasitic stages inside hosts, and are often secreted. Many parasitic nematodes have taxa-specific gene families that also appeared to be involved in parasitism, emphasising that there is still much to be discovered about what it takes to be a parasitic nematode
Original languageEnglish
Article numberelx010
Pages (from-to)8-14
Number of pages7
JournalBriefings in Functional Genomics
Issue number1
Early online date3 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


  • nematode
  • parasite
  • genomics
  • evolution


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