Linkage maps from multiple genetic crosses and loci linked to growth-related virulent phenotype in Plasmodium yoelii.

State Key Laboratory of Stress Cell Biology, School of Life Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian 361005, People's Republic of China.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.81). 06/2011; 108(31):E374-82. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1102261108
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Plasmodium yoelii is an excellent model for studying malaria pathogenesis that is often intractable to investigate using human parasites; however, genetic studies of the parasite have been hindered by lack of genome-wide linkage resources. Here, we performed 14 genetic crosses between three pairs of P. yoelii clones/subspecies, isolated 75 independent recombinant progeny from the crosses, and constructed a high-resolution linkage map for this parasite. Microsatellite genotypes from the progeny formed 14 linkage groups belonging to the 14 parasite chromosomes, allowing assignment of sequence contigs to chromosomes. Growth-related virulent phenotypes from 25 progeny of one of the crosses were significantly associated with a major locus on chromosome 13 and with two secondary loci on chromosomes 7 and 10. The chromosome 10 and 13 loci are both linked to day 5 parasitemia, and their effects on parasite growth rate are independent but additive. The locus on chromosome 7 is associated with day 10 parasitemia. The chromosome 13 locus spans ~220 kb of DNA containing 51 predicted genes, including the P. yoelii erythrocyte binding ligand, in which a C741Y substitution in the R6 domain is implicated in the change of growth rate. Similarly, the chromosome 10 locus spans ~234 kb with 71 candidate genes, containing a member of the 235-kDa rhoptry proteins (Py235) that can bind to the erythrocyte surface membrane. Atypical virulent phenotypes among the progeny were also observed. This study provides critical tools and information for genetic investigations of virulence and biology of P. yoelii.

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    ABSTRACT: Background Rodent malaria parasites (RMP) are used extensively as models of human malaria. Draft RMP genomes have been published for Plasmodium yoelii, P. berghei ANKA (PbA) and P. chabaudi AS (PcAS). Although availability of these genomes made a significant impact on recent malaria research, these genomes were highly fragmented and were annotated with little manual curation. The fragmented nature of the genomes has hampered genome wide analysis of Plasmodium gene regulation and function.ResultsWe have greatly improved the genome assemblies of PbA and PcAS, newly sequenced the virulent parasite P. yoelii YM genome, sequenced additional RMP isolates/lines and have characterized genotypic diversity within RMP species. We have produced RNA-seq data and utilized it to improve gene-model prediction and to provide quantitative, genome-wide, data on gene expression. Comparison of the RMP genomes with the genome of the human malaria parasite P. falciparum and RNA-seq mapping permitted gene annotation at base-pair resolution. Full-length chromosomal annotation permitted a comprehensive classification of all subtelomeric multigene families including the `Plasmodium interspersed repeat genes¿ (pir). Phylogenetic classification of the pir family, combined with pir expression patterns, indicates functional diversification within this family.Conclusions Complete RMP genomes, RNA-seq and genotypic diversity data are excellent and important resources for gene-function and post-genomic analyses and to better interrogate Plasmodium biology. Genotypic diversity between P. chabaudi isolates makes this species an excellent parasite to study genotype-phenotype relationships. The improved classification of multigene families will enhance studies on the role of (variant) exported proteins in virulence and immune evasion/modulation.
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    ABSTRACT: The rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium yoelii is an important model for studying malaria immunity and pathogenesis. One approach for studying malaria disease phenotypes is genetic mapping, which requires typing a large number of genetic markers from multiple parasite strains and/or progeny from genetic crosses. Hundreds of microsatellite (MS) markers have been developed to genotype the P. yoelii genome; however, typing a large number of MS markers can be labor intensive, time consuming, and expensive. Thus, development of high-throughput genotyping tools such as DNA microarrays that enable rapid and accurate large-scale genotyping of the malaria parasite will be highly desirable. In this study, we sequenced the genomes of two P. yoelii strains (33X and N67) and obtained a large number of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Based on the SNPs obtained, we designed sets of oligonucleotide probes to develop a microarray that could interrogate ∼11,000 SNPs across the 14 chromosomes of the parasite in a single hybridization. Results from hybridizations of DNA samples of five P. yoelii strains or cloned lines (17XNL, YM, 33X, N67 and N67C) and two progeny from a genetic cross (N67×17XNL) to the microarray showed that the array had a high call rate (∼97%) and accuracy (99.9%) in calling SNPs, providing a simple and reliable tool for typing the P. yoelii genome. Our data show that the P. yoelii genome is highly polymorphic, although isogenic pairs of parasites were also detected. Additionally, our results indicate that the 33X parasite is a progeny of 17XNL (or YM) and an unknown parasite. The highly accurate and reliable microarray developed in this study will greatly facilitate our ability to study the genetic basis of important traits and the disease it causes.
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