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De novo transcriptome sequencing and analysis of the juvenile and adult stages of Fasciola gigantica

Zhang, Xiao-Xuan; Cong, Wei; Elsheikha, Hany M.; Liu, Guo-Hua; Ma, Jian-Gang; Huang, Wei-Yi; Zhao, Quan; Zhu, Xing-Quan


Xiao-Xuan Zhang

Wei Cong

Guo-Hua Liu

Jian-Gang Ma

Wei-Yi Huang

Quan Zhao

Xing-Quan Zhu


Fasciola gigantica is regarded as the major liver fluke causing fasciolosis in livestock in tropical countries. Despite the significant economic and public health impacts of F. gigantica there are few studies on the pathogenesis of this parasite and our understanding is further limited by the lack of genome and transcriptome information. In this study, de novo Illumina RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) was performed to obtain a comprehensive transcriptome profile of the juvenile (42 days post infection) and adult stages of F. gigantica. A total of 49,720 unigenes were produced from juvenile and adult stages of F. gigantica, with an average length of 1286 nucleotides (nt) and N50 of 2076 nt. A total of 27,862 (56.03%) unigenes were annotated by BLAST similarity searches against the NCBI non-redundant protein database. Because the F. gigantica needs to feed and/or digest host tissues, some proteases (including cysteine proteases and aspartic proteases), which play a role in the degradation of host tissues (protein), have been paid more attention in the present study. A total of 6511 distinct genes were found differentially expressed between juveniles and adults, of which 3993 genes were up-regulated and 2518 genes were down-regulated in adults versus juveniles, respectively. Moreover, stage-specific differentially expressed genes were identified in juvenile (17,009) and adult (6517) F. gigantica. The significantly divergent pathways of differentially expressed genes included cAMP signaling pathway (226; 4.12%), proteoglycans in cancer (256; 4.67%) and focal adhesion (199; 3.63%). The transcription pattern also revealed two egg-laying-associated pathways: cGMP-PKG signaling pathway and TGF-? signaling pathway. This study provides the first comparative transcriptomic data concerning juvenile and adult stages of F. gigantica that will be of great value for future research efforts into understanding parasite pathogenesis and developing vaccines against this important parasite.


Zhang, X., Cong, W., Elsheikha, H. M., Liu, G., Ma, J., Huang, W., …Zhu, X. (2017). De novo transcriptome sequencing and analysis of the juvenile and adult stages of Fasciola gigantica. Infection, Genetics and Evolution, 51, 33-40.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 9, 2017
Online Publication Date Mar 9, 2017
Publication Date 2017-07
Deposit Date Mar 15, 2017
Publicly Available Date Mar 15, 2017
Journal Infection, Genetics and Evolution
Print ISSN 1567-1348
Electronic ISSN 1567-7257
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 51
Pages 33-40
Keywords Fasciola gigantica; De novo transcriptome; Differentially expressed genes; Host-pathogen interaction; Next-generation sequencing
Public URL
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