Brugia malayi is a mosquito-borne filarial nematode that causes lymphatic filariasis and elephantiasis in humans. The purpose of this study was to identify and characterize genes that are expressed differentially in male and female B. malayi in hopes of gaining new insight into the reproductive biology of the parasite. Two approaches were used. A 5' differential display PCR (splice leader differential display PCR, SL DD-PCR) was performed by PCR with splice leader and random primers on cDNA templates, and electronic subtraction was performed on expressed sequence tag (EST) cluster databases developed by the Filarial Genome Project (FGP). Gender-specific expression of candidate clones was confirmed by RT-PCR for six of 22 (27%) clones identified by DD and in seven of 15 (47%) clones identified by electronic subtraction. One clone was identified by both methods. Several female-specific clones had homology to known nematode genes that encode a fatty acid binding protein, a high mobility group protein, an eggshell protein, a glutamate-gated ion channel, and a collagen. However, most of the clones have no significant homology to known genes or proteins in computer databases. This project has confirmed the value of SL DD-PCR and electronic subtraction for analysis of gene expression in filariae. These two complimentary techniques may be generally applicable to the study of gender-specific (and by analogy stage specific) gene expression in other nematodes. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-257
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 30 1999


  • Brugia
  • Differential display
  • Expressed sequence tag
  • Gender
  • Gene expression
  • Nematode
  • Reproduction


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