BMC genomics. 2014-12-23; 15.1168.

NextGen sequencing reveals short double crossovers contribute disproportionately to genetic diversity in Toxoplasma gondii

Khan A, Shaik JS, Behnke M, Wang Q, Dubey JP, Lorenzi HA, Ajioka JW, Rosenthal BM, Sibley LD

PMID: 25532601


Toxoplasma gondii is a widespread protozoan parasite of animals that causes zoonotic disease in humans. Three clonal variants predominate in North America and Europe, while South American strains are genetically diverse, and undergo more frequent recombination. All three northern clonal variants share a monomorphic version of chromosome Ia (ChrIa), which is also found in unrelated, but successful southern lineages. Although this pattern could reflect a selective advantage, it might also arise from non-Mendelian segregation during meiosis. To understand the inheritance of ChrIa, we performed a genetic cross between the northern clonal type 2 ME49 strain and a divergent southern type 10 strain called VAND, which harbors a divergent ChrIa.