Xu F, Jex A, Svärd SG
Sci Data 7 (1) 38 [2020-02-04; online 2020-02-04]
Giardia intestinalis is a protist causing diarrhea in humans. The first G. intestinalis genome, from the WB isolate, was published more than ten years ago, and has been widely used as the reference genome for Giardia research. However, the genome is fragmented, thus hindering research at the chromosomal level. We re-sequenced the Giardia genome with Pacbio long-read sequencing technology and obtained a new reference genome, which was assembled into near-complete chromosomes with only four internal gaps at long repeats. This new genome is not only more complete but also better annotated at both structural and functional levels, providing more details about gene families, gene organizations and chromosomal structure. This near-complete reference genome will be a valuable resource for the Giardia community and protist research. It also showcases how a fragmented genome can be improved with long-read sequencing technology completed with optical maps.