Schistosoma mansoni is one of the agents of schistosomiasis, a chronic and debilitating disease. Here we present a transcriptome-wide characterization of adult S. mansoni males by high-throughput RNA-sequencing. We obtained 1,620,432 high-quality ESTs from a directional strand-specific cDNA library, resulting in a 26% higher coverage of genome bases than that of the public ESTs available at NCBI. With a 15×-deep coverage of transcribed genomic regions, our data were able to (i) confirm for the first time 990 predictions without previous evidence of transcription; (ii) correct gene predictions; (iii) discover 989 and 1196 RNA-seq contigs that map to intergenic and intronic genomic regions, respectively, where no gene had been predicted before. These contigs could represent new protein-coding genes or non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). Interestingly, we identified 11 novel Micro-exon genes (MEGs). These data reveal new features of the S. mansoni transcriptional landscape and significantly advance our understanding of the parasite transcriptome.
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