Gregarines are protozoan parasites of invertebrates in the phylum Apicomplexa. We employed an expressed sequence tag strategy in order to dissect the molecular processes of sexual or gametocyst development of gregarines. Expressed sequence tags provide a rapid way to identify genes, particularly in organisms for which we have very little molecular information. Analysis of ∼1800 expressed sequence tags from the gametocyst stage revealed highly expressed genes related to cell division and differentiation. Evidence was found for the role of degradation and recycling in gametocyst development. Numerous additional genes uncovered by expressed sequence tag sequencing should provide valuable tools to investigate gametocyst development as well as for molecular phylogenetics, and comparative genomics in this important group of parasites.
- Cell wall
- Gene expression