Genome plasticity driven by aneuploidy and loss of heterozygosity in Trypanosoma cruzi

Lissa Cruz-Saavedra, Philipp Schwabl, Gustavo A. Vallejo, Julio C. Carranza, Marina Muñoz, Luz Helena Patino, Alberto Paniz-Mondolfi, Martin S. Llewellyn, Juan David Ramírez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Trypanosoma cruzi the causative agent of Chagas disease shows a marked genetic diversity and divided into at least six Discrete Typing Units (DTUs). High intra genetic variability has been observed in the TcI DTU, the most widely distributed DTU, where patterns of genomic diversity can provide information on ecological and evolutionary processes driving parasite population structure and genome organization. Chromosomal aneuploidies and rearrangements across multigene families represent an evidence of T. cruzi genome plasticity. We explored genomic diversity among 18 Colombian T. cruzi I clones and 15 T. cruzi I South American strains. Our results confirm high genomic variability, heterozygosity and presence of a clade compatible with the TcIdom genotype, described for strains from humans in Colombia and Venezuela. TcI showed high structural plasticity across the geographical region studied. Differential events of whole and segmental aneuploidy (SA) along chromosomes even between clones from the same strain were found and corroborated by the depth and allelic frequency. We detected loss of heterozygosity (LOH) events in different chromosomes, however, the size and location of segments under LOH varied between clones. Genes adjacent to breakpoints were evaluated, and retrotransposon hot spot genes flanked the beginning of segmental aneuploidies. Our results suggest that T. cruzi genomes, like those of Leishmania, may have a highly unstable structure and there is now an urgent need to design experiments to explore any potential adaptive role for the plasticity observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number000843
JournalMicrobial genomics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Genome plasticity driven by aneuploidy and loss of heterozygosity in Trypanosoma cruzi'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this