The beet cyst nematode Heterodera schachtii is an important pathogen worldwide, but its molecular characterization has been limited to studying individual genes of interest. We undertook a high-throughput genomic approach and drastically increased the number of available sequences for this parasite. A total of 2,662 expressed sequence tags were grouped into 1,212 clusters representing a nonredundant catalog of H. schachtii genes. Implementing a bioinformatic workflow, we identified 50 sequences coding for candidate secreted proteins. All of these contain a putative signal peptide required for entry into the secretory pathway and lack any transmembrane domain. Included are previously postulated cell-wall-degrading enzymes and other parasitism-related genes. Moreover, we provide the first report of an arabinogalactan endo-1,4-β-galactosidase enzyme (EC in animals. As sequence data increase at a rapid rate, developing high-throughput genomic screening is a necessity. The in silico approach described here is an effective way to identify putative secreted proteins and prioritize candidates for further studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-424
Number of pages11
JournalParasitology Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 2006


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