We have initiated a gene discovery program in Schistosoma mansoni
the technique of Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs), i.e. partial sequences of
cDNAs obtained from single passes in automatic DNA sequencers.
ESTs can be used to identify genes on the basis of their homology with
sequences from other species deposited in DNA or protein databases.
Transcripts with sequences without matches in the databases may represent
novel parasite-specific genes. This approach has shown to be very efficient
and in less than two years a broad range of novel genes has already been
ascertained, more than doubling the number of known S. mansoni genes.