Foraminifers are a major component of modern marine ecosystems and one of the most important oceanic producers of calcium carbonate. They are a key phylogenetic group among amoeboid protists, but our knowledge of their genome is still mostly limited to a few conserved genes. Here, we report the first study of expressed genes by means of expressed sequence tag (EST) from the freshwater naked foraminiferan Reticulomyxa filosa. Cluster analysis of 1630 valid ESTs enabled the identification of 178 groups of related sequences and 871 singlets. Approximately 50% of the putative unique 1059 ESTs could be annotated using Blast searches against the protein database SwissProt + TrEMBL. The EST database described here is the first step towards gene discovery in Foraminifera and should provide the basis for new insights into the genomic and transcriptomic characteristics of these interesting but poorly understood protists.
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