Expressed sequence tag (EST) sequencing and analysis is a primary research tool to identify and characterize the Schistosoma mansoni transcriptome. As part of our gene discovery effort, a total of 5,793 ESTs have been generated from clones selected randomly from complementary DNA (cDNA) libraries constructed from male and female adult worms. Assembly analysis of all the 16,813 public S. mansoni ESTs has identified 1,920 distinct tentative consensus sequences (TCs) and 5,571 nonoverlapping ESTs (singletons). Of these, 376 TCs (20%) and 1,449 singletons (26%) are unique to the SUNY/TIGR sequencing effort. Tentative consensus sequences and singletons were distributed into various categories of biological roles associated with cell structure, metabolism, protein fate, signal transduction, transcription, protein synthesis, transporters, and cell growth. The TCs and singletons represent transcripts that can be used as a resource for functional annotation of genomic sequence data, comparative sequence analysis, and cDNA clone selection for microarray projects. The utility of EST analysis is demonstrated by identifying new protease genes, which may be involved in hemoglobin degradation.

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