Veterinary Science - Research Publications

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    Mitochondrial genomes of parasitic nematodes - progress and perspectives
    Hu, M ; Gasser, RB (ELSEVIER SCI LTD, 2006-02-01)
    Mitochondria are subcellular organelles in which oxidative phosphorylation and other important biochemical functions take place within the cell. Within these organelles is a mitochondrial (mt) genome, which is distinct from, but cooperates with, the nuclear genome of the cell. Studying mt genomes has implications for various fundamental areas, including mt biochemistry, physiology and molecular biology. Importantly, the mt genome is a rich source of markers for population genetic and systematic studies. To date, more than 696 mt genomes have been sequenced for a range of metazoan organisms. However, few of these are from parasitic nematodes, despite their socioeconomic importance and the need for fundamental investigations into areas such as nematode genetics, systematics and ecology. In this article, we review knowledge and recent progress in mt genomics of parasitic nematodes, summarize applications of mt gene markers to the study of population genetics, systematics, epidemiology and evolution of key nematodes, and highlight some prospects and opportunities for future research.
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    Class II myosins in nematodes - genetic relationships, fundamental and applied implications
    Nikolaou, S ; Hu, M ; Chilton, NB ; Hartman, D ; Nisbet, AJ ; Presidente, PJA ; Gasser, RB (PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2006-05-01)
    Myosins are represented by a wide range of different classes of molecule, of which the most extensively studied are the class II myosins which drive muscle contraction and cell organization; the functional unit of class II myosins comprises two myosin heavy chains (MHCs). This minireview gives an update on class II MHCs of nematodes and describes a comparative analysis of MHC genes from nematodes and other organismal groups. Genetic analyses of sequence data for the four functional domains of MHCs (i.e., the SH3-like N-terminal, head, neck and tail domains) reveal a delineation between both the nematode and non-nematode myosins and between muscle and non-muscle myosins. The distinctiveness of the MHCs of nematodes suggests functional and tissue specialization. The elucidation of the functional roles of myosins and other molecules in specific signaling pathways in nematodes has the potential to lead to new intervention strategies for parasites via the specific disruption or interruption of key developmental processes, having biotechnological implications in the longer term.