Small non-coding RNAs derived from transfer RNAs have been identified as a broadly conserved prokaryotic
and eukaryotic response to stress. Their presence coincides with changes in developmental state associated with
gene expression regulation. In the epimastigote form of Trypanosoma cruzi
, tRNA fragments localize to posterior
cytoplasmic granules. In the infective metacyclic form of the parasite, we found tRNA-derived fragments to be abundant
and evenly distributed within the cytoplasm. The fragments were not associated with polysomes, suggesting that
the tRNA-derived fragments may not be directly involved in translation control in metacyclics.