IRAP: An efficient retrotransposon-based electrophoretic technique for studying genetic variability among geographical isolates of Schistosoma japonicum.

Research paper by Juan J Li, Guang-Hui GH Zhao, Xiao-Yan XY Li, Fen F Chen, Jing-Bin JB Chen, Feng-Cai FC Zou, Jian-Fa JF Yang, Rui-Qing RQ Lin, Ya-Biao YB Weng, Xing-Quan XQ Zhu

Indexed on: 01 Jun '11Published on: 01 Jun '11Published in: ELECTROPHORESIS


In the present study, a inter-retrotransposon-amplified polymorphism (IRAP) technique, based on retrotransposons, was used to examine genetic variability among Schistosoma japonicum isolates from different provinces in mainland China. Of the 15 primers screened, 5 produced highly reproducible IRAP patterns. Using these primers, 54 discernible DNA fragments were generated with 40 (74.07%) being polymorphic, indicating considerable genetic variation among the examined S. japonicum isolates. The primer LTR-11 was found to be able to differentiate male and female parasites, producing one constant specific band for female S. japonicum isolates. The percentages of polymorphic bands (PPB) among all parasites, among isolates from mountainous provinces and among those from the lake/marshland areas were 74.07, 48.15, and 66.67%, respectively. UPGMA analysis revealed that the IRAP profiles could group S. japonicum isolates in mainland China into two clades (mountainous and lake/marshland types), and samples from the same geographical origins clustered together. These results demonstrated that the IRAP technique is suitable for studying genetic diversity and population structures, and also provides an effective technique for studying sex differentiation of S. japonicum.