Certain ciliates of the subclass Scuticociliatia (scuticociliates) are facultative parasites of fishes in which they cause a suite of diseases collectively termed scuticociliatosis. Hitherto, comparatively little was known about genetics and genomics of scuticociliates or the mechanism of scuticociliatosis. In this study, a laboratory culture of the facultatively pathogenic scuticociliate Pseudocohnilembus persalinus was established and its genome sequenced, giving the first genome of a marine ciliate. Genome-wide horizontal gene transfer (HGT) analysis showed P. persalinus has acquired many unique prokaryote-derived genes that potentially contribute to the virulence of this organism, including cell adhesion, hemolysis and heme utilization genes. These findings give new insights into our understanding of the pathology of scuticociliates.
1.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Hydrobiol, Key Lab Aquat Biodivers & Conservat, Wuhan 430072, Peoples R China 2.Univ Chinese Acad Sci, Beijing 100049, Peoples R China 3.Guangdong Ocean Univ, Zhanjiang 524088, Peoples R China 4.Harbin Normal Univ, Coll Life Sci & Technol, Dept Biol, Lab Protozool, Harbin 150025, Peoples R China 5.Nat Hist Museum, Dept Life Sci, London SW7 5BD, England