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An expressed sequence tag survey of gene expression in the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis, an intermediate vector of Fasciola hepatica

  • A. DAVISON (a1) (a2) and M. L. BLAXTER (a1)

The pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis is an intermediate vector for the liver fluke Fasciola hepatica, a common parasite of ruminants and humans. Yet, despite being a disease of medical and economic importance, as well as a potentially useful comparative tool, the genetics of the relationship between Lymnaea and Fasciola has barely been investigated. As a complement to forthcoming F. hepatica expressed sequence tags (ESTs), we generated 1320 ESTs from L. stagnalis central nervous system (CNS) libraries. We estimate that these sequences derive from 771 different genes, of which 374 showed significant similarity to proteins in public databases, and 169 were similar to ESTs from the snail vector Biomphalaria glabrata. These L. stagnalis ESTs will provide insight into the function of the snail CNS, as well as the molecular components of behaviour and response to parasitism. In the future, the comparative analysis of Lymnaea/Fasciola with Biomphalaria/Schistosoma will help to understand both conserved and divergent aspects of the host-parasite relationship. The L. stagnalis ESTs will also assist gene prediction in the forthcoming B. glabrata genome sequence. The dataset is available for searching on the world-wide web at

Corresponding author
Institute of Genetics, University of Nottingham, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK. Tel: +44 (0)115 8493239. Fax: +44 (0)115 9709906. E-mail:
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