Incorporating Genomics into the Toolkit of Nematology

Adler R. Dillman, Ali Mortazavi, Paul W. Sternberg

Abstract


The study of nematode genomes over the last three decades has relied heavily on the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, which remains the best-assembled and annotatedmetazoan genome. This is now changing as a rapidly expanding number of nematodes of medical and economic importance have been sequenced in recent years. The advent of sequencing technologies to achieve the equivalent of the $1000 human genome promises that every nematode genome of interest will eventually be sequenced at a reasonable cost. As the sequencing of species spanning the nematode phylumbecomes a routine part of characterizing nematodes, the comparative approach and the increasing use of ecological context will help us to further understand the evolution and functional specializations of any given species by comparing its genome to that of other closely and more distantly related nematodes.We review the current state of nematode genomics and discuss some of the highlights that these genomes have revealed and the trend and benefits of ecological genomics, emphasizing the potential for new genomes and the exciting opportunities this provides for nematological studies.

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