Franzén O, Ochaya S, Sherwood E, Lewis MD, Llewellyn MS, Miles MA, Andersson B
PLoS Negl Trop Dis 5 (3) e984 [2011-03-08; online 2011-03-08]
Trypanosoma cruzi is the causative agent of Chagas disease, which affects more than 9 million people in Latin America. We have generated a draft genome sequence of the TcI strain Sylvio X10/1 and compared it to the TcVI reference strain CL Brener to identify lineage-specific features. We found virtually no differences in the core gene content of CL Brener and Sylvio X10/1 by presence/absence analysis, but 6 open reading frames from CL Brener were missing in Sylvio X10/1. Several multicopy gene families, including DGF, mucin, MASP and GP63 were found to contain substantially fewer genes in Sylvio X10/1, based on sequence read estimations. 1,861 small insertion-deletion events and 77,349 nucleotide differences, 23% of which were non-synonymous and associated with radical amino acid changes, further distinguish these two genomes. There were 336 genes indicated as under positive selection, 145 unique to T. cruzi in comparison to T. brucei and Leishmania. This study provides a framework for further comparative analyses of two major T. cruzi lineages and also highlights the need for sequencing more strains to understand fully the genomic composition of this parasite.