Cayla Steemer, Prairie View A&M University

Biological Pathways Associated with Wild and Domestic Animals

Abstract: Zoonotic diseases are problematic, in that, they impact both wild and domestic animals alike. It has been reported that wildlife (50%), livestock (43%) and companion animals (23%) have been affected with zoonotic diseases over the past five years. Investigating the genomes of wild and domestic animals would provide knowledge on zoonotic disease etiology, thus potentially hindering their onset and devastating effects on wild and domestic animal populations. Gene Ontology (GO) is a major bioinformatics initiative, whereby descriptions of gene products across the database can be developed and unified to describe all species. This process is performed by Biocurators, who gather, annotate, and validate information on the databases, consequently affording easy access to accurate and updated data. In this study, we investigated the biocuration of two biological processes, DNA integration, which is used for DNA coding and the Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle (TCA) or Citric Acid Cycle that occur in all aerobic organisms. Therefore, the objective was to determine the number of wild versus domesticated animals, in which DNA Integration and the TCA cycle are annotated. We hypothesized that there would be more annotations on domesticated animals than the wild animals, because of easier access to domesticated animals. To test this hypothesis, we first accessed the National Center of Biotechnology Information (NCBI) to retrieve the taxonomy ID for all animal species found in this study. Then the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) database, QuickGO was accessed to retrieve all annotations associated with the taxonomy ID of the species. The GO term for DNA Integration (GO:0015074) and the TCA cycle (GO:0006099). Our data indicated that more annotations for DNA Integration and the TCA cycle were significantly higher in domestic animals than in wild animals. We therefore propose that more biocuration needs to be done for wild animals. This will promote elucidation of zoonotic disease propagation in both wild and domestic animals.

Presentation Author(s):
Cayla Steemer*

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