Next generation sequencing from Hepatozoon canis (Apicomplexa: Coccidia: Adeleorina): Complete apicoplast genome and multiple mitochondrion-associated sequences

Alexandre N. Léveillé, Gad Baneth, John R. Barta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Extrachromosomal genomes of the adeleorinid parasite Hepatozoon canis infecting an Israeli dog were investigated using next-generation and standard sequencing technologies. A complete apicoplast genome and several mitochondrion-associated sequences were generated. The apicoplast genome (31,869 bp) possessed two copies of both large subunit (23S) and small subunit (16S) ribosomal RNA genes (rDNA) within an inverted repeat region, as well as 22 protein-coding sequences, 25 transfer RNA genes (tDNA) and seven open reading frames of unknown function. Although circular-mapping, the apicoplast genome was physically linear according to next-generation data. Unlike other apicoplast genomes, genes encoding ribosomal protein S19 and tDNAs for alanine, aspartic acid, histidine, threonine and valine were not identified. No complete mitochondrial genome was recovered using next-generation data or directed PCR amplifications. Eight mitochondrion-associated (215–3523 bp) contigs assembled from next-generation data encoded a complete cytochrome c oxidase subunit I coding sequence, a complete cytochrome c oxidase subunit III coding sequence, two complete cytochrome B coding sequences, a non-coding, pseudogene for cytochrome B and multiple fragmented mitochondrial rDNA genes (SSUA, SSUB, SSUD, LSUC, LSUG, RNA6, RNA10, RNA14, RNA18). The paucity of NGS reads generating each of the mitochondrion-like sequences suggested that a complete mitochondrial genome at typically high copy number was absent in H. canis. In contrast, the complete nuclear rDNA unit sequence of H. canis (18S rDNA to 28S rDNA, 6977 bp) had >1000-fold next-generation coverage. Multiple divergent (from 93.6% to 99.9% pairwise identities) nuclear 18S rDNA contigs were generated (three types with 10 subtypes total). To our knowledge this is the first apicoplast genome sequenced from any adeleorinid coccidium and the first mitochondrion-associated sequences from this serious pathogen of wild and domestic canids. These newly generated sequences may provide useful genetic loci for high-resolution species-level genotyping that is currently impossible using existing nuclear rDNA targets.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)375-387
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal for Parasitology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Australian Society for Parasitology


  • Adeleorina
  • Apicomplexa
  • Apicoplast
  • Canine
  • Hepatozoon canis
  • Mitochondrion
  • Next generation sequencing
  • Nuclear ribosomal RNA


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