JCVI: Research / Projects / WGS of Ichthyophthirius multifiliis / Overview
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Whole Genome Sequencing of a Parasitic Ciliate


If you have ever kept pet fish in a freshwater aquarium, chances are good that you have encountered the dreaded "white spot disease", also known as Ich. The same disease affects a wide range of fish around the world, causing enormous economic losses to the aquaculture industry. It is caused by a parasitic ciliate called Ichthyophthirius multifiliis. Ich is related to Paramecium and Tetrahymena, popular model organisms for basic researchers and familiar to many people from their high school Biology classes.

We are sequencing the genome of Ich to identify targets for drugs that could be used to treat Ich-infected fish and vaccines that could innoculate the fish against this fatal disease. We also hope to understand how this ciliate evolved a parasitic lifestyle. Co-Principal Investigators on the project are Ted Clark and Donna Cassidy-Hanley of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Interestingly, we discovered by genome sequencing that Ich harbors intracellular bacteria. Preliminary genome sequence assemblies of both Ich (euk.scf.fasta) and its bacterial symbiont(s) (symbiont.scf.fasta) may be found here: ftp://ftp.jcvi.org in the folder pub::data::rcoyne. When these assemblies have been validated and annotated, the information will be deposited at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Meanwhile, please read our Data Release Policy.

Data Release Policy - The Ichthyophthirius multifiliis Genome Project

This preliminary sequence information is being released to aid researchers interested in using Ichthyophthirius genome data as part of their work. Data releases do not constitute scientific publication, but rather provide investigators with information that may "jump-start" experimentation. Users of this information are encouraged to share their results with us and should acknowledge the source of information in any publication by including the following sentence in both the Materials and Methods and Acknowledgment sections: "Preliminary sequence data for the I. multifiliis scaffolds was obtained from the J. Craig Venter Institute." Given that these scaffold sequences are preliminary, it is expected that no one will publish analyses based on these data of genes or features on a whole chromosome or genome scale without permission of The J. Craig Venter Institute. For comments/questions send mail to rcoyne(AT)jcvi.org


U.S. Department of Agriculture