Comparative genomic analysis of simple sequence repeats in three Plasmodium species
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- Tyagi, S., Sharma, M. & Das, A. Parasitol Res (2011) 108: 451. doi:10.1007/s00436-010-2086-5
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Simple sequence repeats (SSRs) are known to be responsible for genetic complexities and play major roles in gene and genome evolution. To this respect, malaria parasites are known to have rapidly evolving and complex genomes with complicated and differential pathogenic behaviors. Hence, by studying the whole genome comparative SSRs patterns, one can understand genomic complexities and differential evolutionary patterns of these species. We herein utilized the whole genome sequence information of three Plasmodium species, Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, and Plasmodium knowlesi, to comparatively analyze genome-wide distribution of SSRs. The study revealed that despite having the smallest genome size, P. falciparum bears the highest SSR content among the three Plasmodium species. Furthermore, distribution patterns of different SSRs types (e.g., mono, di, tri, tetra, penta, and hexa) in term of relative abundance and relative density provide evidences for greater accumulation of di-repeats and marked decrease of mono-repeats in P. falciparum in comparison to other two species. Overall, the types and distribution of SSRs in P. falciparum genome was found to be different than that of P. vivax and P. knowlesi. The latter two species have quite similar SSR organizations in many aspects of the data. The results were discussed in terms of comparative SSR patterns among the three Plasmodium species, uniqueness of P. falciparum in SSR organization and general pattern of evolution of SSRs in Plasmodium.