Scientists find out which of the metazoans has the smallest known genome

Researchers at St Petersburg University have deciphered the Intoshia variabili gene, the smallest representative of the parasite from the Orthonectida group. At present, its genome is proved to be smallest among all metazoans and includes only 5,120 genes. Phylogenetic relationships of Orthonectida have remained controversial for a long time. According to recent data from St Petersburg University scientists, these parasites are close to Annelida.