Mark L. Blaxter

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Nematodes are important: parasitic nematodes threaten the health of plants, animals and humans on a global scale; interstitial nematodes pervade sediment and soil ecosystems in overwhelming numbers; and Caenorhabditis elegans is a favourite experimental model system. A lack of clearly homologous characters and the absence of an informative fossil record(More)
The advent of next-generation sequencing (NGS) has revolutionized genomic and transcriptomic approaches to biology. These new sequencing tools are also valuable for the discovery, validation and assessment of genetic markers in populations. Here we review and discuss best practices for several NGS methods for genome-wide genetic marker development and(More)
Using a molecular barcode, derived from single-specimen polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing of the 5' segment of the small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU) gene, we have developed a molecular operational taxonomic unit (MOTU) scheme for soil nematodes. Individual specimens were considered to belong to the same MOTU when the sequenced segment of 450(More)
Roche 454 pyrosequencing has become a method of choice for generating transcriptome data from non-model organisms. Once the tens to hundreds of thousands of short (250-450 base) reads have been produced, it is important to correctly assemble these to estimate the sequence of all the transcripts. Most transcriptome assembly projects use only one program for(More)
We inferred the rate and properties of new spontaneous mutations in Drosophila melanogaster by carrying out whole-genome shotgun sequencing-by-synthesis of three mutation accumulation (MA) lines that had been maintained by close inbreeding for an average of 262 generations. We tested for the presence of new mutations by generating alignments of each MA line(More)
Intracellular bacteria have been observed in various species of filarial nematodes (family Onchocercidae). The intracellular bacterium of the canine filaria Dirofilaria immitis has been shown to be closely related to Wolbachia, a rickettsia-like micro-organism that is widespread among arthropods. However, the relationships between endosymbionts of different(More)
Parasitic nematodes that cause elephantiasis and river blindness threaten hundreds of millions of people in the developing world. We have sequenced the approximately 90 megabase (Mb) genome of the human filarial parasite Brugia malayi and predict approximately 11,500 protein coding genes in 71 Mb of robustly assembled sequence. Comparative analysis with the(More)
Plant-parasitic nematodes are major agricultural pests worldwide and novel approaches to control them are sorely needed. We report the draft genome sequence of the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita, a biotrophic parasite of many crops, including tomato, cotton and coffee. Most of the assembled sequence of this asexually reproducing nematode, totaling(More)
Global sequence comparisons between large datasets, such as those arising from genome projects, can be problematic to display and analyze. We have developed SimiTri, a Java/Perl-based application, which allows simultaneous display and analysis of relative similarity relationships of the dataset of interest to three different databases. We illustrate its(More)
Biodiversity assessment is the key to understanding the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, but there is a well-acknowledged biodiversity identification gap related to eukaryotic meiofaunal organisms. Meiofaunal identification is confounded by the small size of taxa, morphological convergence and intraspecific variation. However,(More)