Comparative analysis of apicomplexa and genomic diversity in eukaryotes

Thomas J. Templeton, Lakshminarayan M. Iyer, Vivek Anantharaman, Shinichiro Enomoto, Juan E. Abrahante, G. M. Subramanian, Stephen L. Hoffman, Mitchell S. Abrahamsen, L. Aravind

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169 Scopus citations


The apicomplexans Plasmodium and Cryptosporidium have developed distinctive adaptations via lineage-specific gene loss and gene innovation in the process of diverging from a common parasitic ancestor. The two lineages have acquired distinct but overlapping sets of surface protein adhesion domains typical of animal proteins, but in no case do they share multidomain architectures identical to animals. Cryptosporidium, but not Plasmodium, possesses an animal-type O-linked glycosylation pathway, along with >30 predicted surface proteins having mucin-like segments. The two parasites have notable qualitative differences in conserved protein architectures associated with chromatin dynamics and transcription. Cryptosporidium shows considerable reduction in the number of introns and a concomitant loss of spliceosomal machinery components. We also describe additional molecular characteristics distinguishing Apicomplexa from other eukaryotes for which complete genome sequences are available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1686-1695
Number of pages10
JournalGenome research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2004


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