Phylogenetic analysis of the Trypanosoma genus based on the heat-shock protein 70 gene

Jorge Fraga, Aymé Fernández-Calienes, Ana Margarita Montalvo, Ilse Maes, Stijn Deborggraeve, Philippe Büscher, Jean-Claude Dujardin, Gerard Van der Auwera

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


Trypanosome evolution was so far essentially studied on the basis of phylogenetic analyses of small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU-rRNA) and glycosomal glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (gGAPDH) genes. We used for the first time the 70kDa heat-shock protein gene (hsp70) to investigate the phylogenetic relationships among 11 Trypanosoma species on the basis of 1380 nucleotides from 76 sequences corresponding to 65 strains. We also constructed a phylogeny based on combined datasets of SSU-rDNA, gGAPDH and hsp70 sequences. The obtained clusters can be correlated with the sections and subgenus classifications of mammal-infecting trypanosomes except for Trypanosoma theileri and Trypanosoma rangeli. Our analysis supports the classification of Trypanosoma species into clades rather than in sections and subgenera, some of which being polyphyletic. Nine clades were recognized: Trypanosoma carassi, Trypanosoma congolense, Trypanosoma cruzi, Trypanosoma grayi, Trypanosoma lewisi, T. rangeli, T. theileri, Trypanosoma vivax and Trypanozoon. These results are consistent with existing knowledge of the genus' phylogeny. Within the T. cruzi clade, three groups of T. cruzi discrete typing units could be clearly distinguished, corresponding to TcI, TcIII, and TcII+V+VI, while support for TcIV was lacking. Phylogenetic analyses based on hsp70 demonstrated that this molecular marker can be applied for discriminating most of the Trypanosoma species and clades.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
Pages (from-to)165-172
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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