Identification of quantitative trait loci controlling acute virulence in Toxoplasma gondii

Chunlei Su, Daniel K. Howe, J. P. Dubey, James W. Ajioka, L. David Sibley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Scopus citations


Strains of Toxoplasma gondii can be grouped into three predominant clonal lineages with members of the type I group being uniformly lethal in mice. To elucidate the basis of this extreme virulence, a genetic cross was performed between a highly virulent type I strain (GT-1) and a less-virulent type III strain (CTG), and the phenotypes of resulting progeny were analyzed by genetic linkage mapping. Analysis of independent recombinant progeny identified several quantitative trait loci that contributed to acute virulence. A major quantitative trait locus located on chromosome VII accounted for ≈50% of the virulence phenotype, whereas a minor locus on chromosome IV, linked to the ROP1 gene, accounted for ≈10%. These loci are conserved in other type I strains, indicating that acute virulence is controlled by discrete genes common to the type I lineage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10753-10758
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 2002


  • Genetics
  • Linkage analysis
  • Parasite
  • QTL mapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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