Network genealogy of 195-bp satellite DNA supports the superimposed hybridization hypothesis of Trypanosoma cruzi evolutionary pattern

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Ienne, Susan
Pedroso, Aurelio
Ferreira, Renata Carmona [UNIFESP]
Briones, Marcelo R. S. [UNIFESP]
Zingales, Bianca
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Trypanosoma cruzi is highly diverse genetically and has been partitioned into six discrete typing units (DTUs), recently re-named T. cruzi I-VI. Although T. cruzi reproduces predominantly by binary division, accumulating evidence indicates that particular DTUs are the result of hybridization events. Two major scenarios for the origin of the hybrid lineages have been proposed. It is accepted widely that the most heterozygous TcV and TcVI DTUs are the result of genetic exchange between TcII and TcIII strains. On the other hand, the participation of a TcI parental in the current genome structure of these hybrid strains is a matter of debate. Here, sequences of the T. cruzi-specific 195-bp satellite DNA of TcI, TcII, Tat, TcV, and TcVI strains have been used for inferring network genealogies. the resulting genealogy showed a high degree of reticulation, which is consistent with more than one event of hybridization between the Tc DTUs. the data also strongly suggest that Tat is a hybrid with two distinct sets of satellite sequences, and that genetic exchange between TcI and TcII parentals occurred within the pedigree of the TcV and TcVI DTUs. Although satellite DNAs belong to the fast-evolving portion of eukaryotic genomes, in >100 satellite units of nine T. cruzi strains we found regions that display 100% identity. No DTU-specific consensus motifs were identified, inferring species-wide conservation. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Infection Genetics and Evolution. Amsterdam: Elsevier B.V., v. 10, n. 5, p. 601-606, 2010.