Evidence and importance of genetic exchange among field populations of Trypanosoma cruzi.
Bottom Line: Many eukaryotic pathogenic microorganisms that were previously assumed to propagate clonally have retained cryptic sexual cycles.This article reviews the growing number of field studies which indicate that natural hybridization in T. cruzi may be frequent, non-obligatory and idiosyncratic; potentially involving independent exchange of kinetoplast and nuclear genetic material as well as canonical meiotic mechanisms.Together these observations now challenge the traditional paradigm of preponderate clonal evolution in T. cruzi and highlight the need for additional, intensive and appropriately sampled field surveys, complemented by high resolution, combined nuclear and mitochondrial population genetics analyses.
Affiliation: Department of Pathogen Molecular Biology, Faculty of Infectious Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom. Electronic address: Louisa.email@example.com.Show MeSH
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Mentions: At the intra-lineage level, genetic exchange is increasingly reported, particularly among TcI populations. It is unclear whether this is due to the examination of representatives from intensely sampled populations that are minimally-subdivided spatially and temporally, and therefore more likely to undergo hybridization, or if it truly reflects the analysis of strains that are more permissive to recombination (Prugnolle and De Meeus, 2010, Ramírez and Llewellyn, 2014). The underlying cytological mechanisms of natural intra-TcI recombination vary between studies and genetic markers used (Table 1 and Fig. 1).
Affiliation: Department of Pathogen Molecular Biology, Faculty of Infectious Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom. Electronic address: Louisa.firstname.lastname@example.org.