Annotation of microsporidian genomes using transcriptional signals

Nat Commun. 2012;3:1137. doi: 10.1038/ncomms2156.


High-quality annotation of microsporidian genomes is essential for understanding the biological processes that govern the development of these parasites. Here we present an improved structural annotation method using transcriptional DNA signals. We apply this method to re-annotate four previously annotated genomes, which allow us to detect annotation errors and identify a significant number of unpredicted genes. We then annotate the newly sequenced genome of Anncaliia algerae. A comparative genomic analysis of A. algerae permits the identification of not only microsporidian core genes, but also potentially highly expressed genes encoding membrane-associated proteins, which represent good candidates involved in the spore architecture, the invasion process and the microsporidian-host relationships. Furthermore, we find that the ten-fold variation in microsporidian genome sizes is not due to gene number, size or complexity, but instead stems from the presence of transposable elements. Such elements, along with kinase regulatory pathways and specific transporters, appear to be key factors in microsporidian adaptive processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Conserved Sequence / genetics
  • DNA, Fungal / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism
  • Genes, Fungal / genetics
  • Genome, Fungal / genetics*
  • Genomics
  • Microsporidia / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Annotation*
  • Open Reading Frames / genetics
  • Phosphotransferases / metabolism
  • Protein Transport / genetics
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • DNA, Fungal
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Phosphotransferases