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Home • Encephalitozoon intestinalis ATCC 50506
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Transmission electron micrograph of an Encephalitozoon intestinalis spore from cell culture showing the polar tube with four to seven coils in single rows, which is typical of the genus Encephalitozoon. Original magnification, x28,500. Photo by Daniel P. Fedorko

The genome sequence and gene predictions of Encephalitozoon intestinalis were not determined by the JGI, but were downloaded from NCBI and have been published (Nicolas Corradi, Jean-Francois Pomber and Laurent Farinell et al, 2010). Please note that this copy of the genome is not maintained by the author and is therefore not automatically updated.

Microsporidia are a group of obligate intracellular parasites of agricultural and medical importance that are widely recognized as highly adapted fungi. Their obligate intracellular lifestyle is characterized by a high degree of host dependence, leading to, among other things, an extraordinary reduction in the number of genes encoded in their genomes.

The model organism for these highly compacted genomes is the human parasite Encephalitozoon cuniculi, the completely sequenced genome of which is only 2.9 Mbp. With approximately 2,000 genes, this genome is indeed strikingly reduced; however, this is not the smallest known microsporidian genome. The genome of the closely related species, E. intestinalis, has been estimated by pulsed field gel electrophoresis to be only 2.3 Mbp, which corresponds to 600 kbp or 20% smaller than E. cuniculi.


Genome Reference(s)