32 - Genome-wide analysis of fundamental transcription factors in the protozoan parasite Giardia lamblia
Giardia lamblia is a single-celled protozoan parasite of the mammalian intestinal tract and is one of the most common causes of waterborne infectious diarrhea worldwide. Giardia is an early-diverging eukaryote characterized by a two-stage life cycle consisting of motile trophozoites and dormant, water-resistant cysts. The genome sequence of Giardia suggests its method of transcription is highly irregular; Giardia lacks many of the canonical transcription factors conserved across known eukaryotes and Archaea, raising questions as to how Giardia accomplishes basal transcription initiation. We generated genome-wide gene expression data from ten time points in the giardial life cycle using RNA-seq to find which genes were differentially expressed at the transcriptional level. Comparison of these data with genome-wide binding site data of known and putative transcription factors, such as gMyb and the TATA-binding protein, will begin to elucidate the role of these transcription factors in gene expression. Investigating global transcriptional patterns in this ubiquitous pathogen will provide insight into the evolution of eukaryotic transcription and could reveal novel drug targets.