Toward 959 nematode genomes

S Kumar, G Koutsovoulos, G Kaur, M Blaxter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The sequencing of the complete genome of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans was a landmark achievement and ushered in a new era of whole-organism, systems analyses of the biology of this powerful model organism. The success of the C. elegans genome sequencing project also inspired communities working on other organisms to approach genome sequencing of their species. The phylum Nematoda is rich and diverse and of interest to a wide range of research fields from basic biology through ecology and parasitic disease. For all these communities, it is now clear that access to genome scale data will be key to advancing understanding, and in the case of parasites, developing new ways to control or cure diseases. The advent of second-generation sequencing technologies, improvements in computing algorithms and infrastructure and growth in bioinformatics and genomics literacy is making the addition of genome sequencing to the research goals of any nematode research program a less daunting prospect. To inspire, promote and coordinate genomic sequencing across the diversity of the phylum, we have launched a community wiki and the 959 Nematode Genomes initiative ( Just as the deciphering of the developmental lineage of the 959 cells of the adult hermaphrodite C. elegans was the gateway to broad advances in biomedical science, we hope that a nematode phylogeny with (at least) 959 sequenced species will underpin further advances in understanding the origins of parasitism, the dynamics of genomic change and the adaptations that have made Nematoda one of the most successful animal phyla.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-50
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Early online date1 Jan 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • nematode
  • genome
  • next-generation sequencing
  • second-generation sequencing
  • wiki


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