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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz
ISSN: 1678-8060
EISSN: 1678-8060
Vol. 110, No. 3, 2015, pp. 403-413
Bioline Code: oc15052
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Vol. 110, No. 3, 2015, pp. 403-413

 en Evolution of Trypanosoma cruzi: clarifying hybridisations, mitochondrial introgressions and phylogenetic relationships between major lineages
Tomasini, Nicolás & Diosque, Patricio


Several different models of Trypanosoma cruzi evolution have been proposed. These models suggest that scarce events of genetic exchange occurred during the evolutionary history of this parasite. In addition, the debate has focused on the existence of one or two hybridisation events during the evolution of T. cruzi lineages. Here, we reviewed the literature and analysed available sequence data to clarify the phylogenetic relationships among these different lineages. We observed that TcI, TcIII and TcIV form a monophyletic group and that TcIII and TcIV are not, as previously suggested, TcI-TcII hybrids. Particularly, TcI and TcIII are sister groups that diverged around the same time that a widely distributed TcIV split into two clades (TcIVS and TcIVN). In addition, we collected evidence that TcIII received TcIVS kDNA by introgression on several occasions. Different demographic hypotheses (surfing and asymmetrical introgression) may explain the origin and expansion of the TcIII group. Considering these hypotheses, genetic exchange should have been relatively frequent between TcIII and TcIVS in the geographic area in which their distributions overlapped. In addition, our results support the hypothesis that two independent hybridisation events gave rise to TcV and TcVI. Consequently, TcIVS kDNA was first transferred to TcIII and later to TcV and TcVI in TcII/TcIII hybridisation events.

Chagas disease; parasite; phylogeny; Trypanosomatidae; discrete typing units

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