Why so many unknown genes? Partitioning orphans from a representative transcriptome of the lone star tick Amblyomma americanum

Amanda K Gibson, Zach Smith, Clay Fuqua, Keith Clay, John K Colbourne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)
182 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Genomic resources within the phylum Arthropoda are largely limited to the true insects but are beginning to include unexplored subphyla, such as the Crustacea and Chelicerata. Investigations of these understudied taxa uncover high frequencies of orphan genes, which lack detectable sequence homology to genes in pre-existing databases. The ticks (Acari: Chelicerata) are one such understudied taxon for which genomic resources are urgently needed. Ticks are obligate blood-feeders that vector major diseases of humans, domesticated animals, and wildlife. In analyzing a transcriptome of the lone star tick Amblyomma americanum, one of the most abundant disease vectors in the United States, we find a high representation of unannotated sequences. We apply a general framework for quantifying the origin and true representation of unannotated sequences in a dataset and for evaluating the biological significance of orphan genes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number135
JournalBMC Genomics
Volume14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2013

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