Deciphering the Draft Genome of Toxoplasma gondii RH Strain
Toxoplasmosis is a widespread parasitic infection by Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite with at least three distinct clonal lineages. This article reports the whole genome sequencing and de novo assembly of T. gondii RH (type I representative strain), as well as genome-wide comparison across major T. gondii lineages. Genomic DNA was extracted from tachyzoites of T. gondii RH strain and its identity was verified by PCR and LAMP. Subsequently, whole genome sequencing was performed, followed by sequence filtering, genome assembly, gene annotation assignments, clustering of gene orthologs and phylogenetic tree construction. Genome comparison was done with the already archived genomes of T. gondii. From this study, the genome size of T. gondii RH strain was found to be 69.35Mb, with a mean GC content of 52%. The genome shares high similarity to the archived genomes of T. gondii GT1, ME49 and VEG strains. Nevertheless, 111 genes were found to be unique to T. gondii RH strain. Importantly, unique genes annotated to functions that are potentially critical for T. gondii virulence were found, which may explain the unique phenotypes of this particular strain. This report complements the genomic archive of T. gondii. Data obtained from this study contribute to better understanding of T. gondii and serve as a reference for future studies on this parasite.