We compared Heterorhabditis bacteriophora GPS11 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) to the ESTs of animal-parasitic, human-parasitic, plant-parasitic, and free-living nematodes. We identified 127 previously nondescribed ESTs of which 119 had homologs in ESTs and 8 had homologs in proteins of free-living nematodes. These ESTs were assigned putative functions in transcription, signal transduction, cell cycle control, metabolism, information processing, and cellular processes, thereby providing better insight into H. bacteriophora metabolism, sex determination, and signal transduction. We also identified 36 H. bacteriophora ESTs that had significant similarities to ESTs of parasitic nematodes, but not to ESTs or proteins of free-living nematodes species. Among these are the ESTs encoding a centrin, an ankyrin-repeat containing protein, and a nuclear hormone receptor. Our analysis also revealed that parasitic nematode-specific ESTs in this H. bacteriophora data set had more homologs in animal-parasitic nematodes than those parasitizing humans or plants.

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