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Rhodnius prolixus

Rhodnius prolixus
Community contact: 
Ellen Dotson

Rhodnius prolixus is a triatomine vector of the Chagas disease parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi, in South and Central America. Chagas disease is a chronic condition which affects 8 to 10 million people and is the cause of around 20,000 deaths per year.

Triatomine insects release parasites in their faeces immediately after a blood meal. Infection occurs after the human host scratches the bite area, thus transferring parasites into the bite wound.

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Organism taxonomy: 


The Rhodnius prolixus CDC strain from the colony at the Centers for Disease Control in Georgia, Atlanta was used as the source for DNA. The original insects were collected by Charles B. Beard in Colombia (domestic dwelling/environment) and have been kept at the CDC for over 15 years.

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Ensembl organism name: 


An enhanced gene build for Rhodnius prolixus has been included as part of the VB-2012-04 release. The high number of transcripts has been reduced.

At the present time, the following data are available:

  • repeats (Dust, TRF, known repeated elements publicly available)
  • alignments to 9,665 Rhodnius prolixus Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs) from dbEST mapped to the genome
  • alignments to 792,023 sequences from 2 Rhodnius prolixus RNA-seq datasets mapped to the genome
  • alignments to 143,631 proteins from UniProt, grouped into 7 taxa, mapped to the genome
  • 549 ncRNAs and 1,148 pseudogenes have been predicted
  • 18,426 Genscan and 65,946 SNAP ab intio gene models
  • 15,878 gene models from the Lagerblad lab
  • 2,589 full length cDNAs from the Lagerblad lab
  • consensus gene set with 16,122 genes and 16,134 transcripts built with the Ensembl gene build pipeline

Be aware that the gene, transcript and peptide identifiers are not stable and there is no plan to maintain them. They have been indexed as part of the site-wide search.

Note that VectorBase provides a BLAST service to compare your sequence against the Rhodnius prolixus supercontigs, transcripts and peptides.

Gene annotation is available in GFF3 and GTF for download. The transcripts, peptides, supercontigs and ESTs are provided in FASTA format.

An enhanced genebuild will follow in a future VectorBase release. We aim to integrate annotation from the community and produce a release quality gene set.

Gene build name: 
Release date: 
Monday, April 16, 2012


Rhodnius prolixus was sequenced by the Washington University School of Medicine, Genome Sequencing Center (WUGSC) in September 2010. The whole-genome shotgun plasmid, bac end reads and 454 reads were assembled using the CABOG assembler. DNA was isolated from the colony at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, USA. It is composed of 58,560 contigs assembled into 27,872 scaffolds with a total length of 702 Mb. This includes 141 Mb (20%) of padding characters.

Gene Count: 
16 122
Peptide Count: 
16 134
Exon Count: 
84 654
Gene build status: 
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