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Genetics. 1992 Dec; 132(4): 1003–1015.
PMCID: PMC1205223

Generation of a Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism Linkage Map for Toxoplasma Gondii


We have constructed a genetic linkage map for the parasitic protozoan, Toxoplasma gondii, using randomly selected low copy number DNA markers that define restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs). The inheritance patterns of 64 RFLP markers and two phenotypic markers were analyzed among 19 recombinant haploid progeny selected from two parallel genetic crosses between PLK and CEP strains. In these first successful interstrain crosses, these RFLP markers segregated into 11 distinct genetic linkage groups that showed close correlation with physical linkage groups previously defined by molecular karyotype. Separate linkage maps, constructed for each of the 11 chromosomes, indicated recombination frequencies range from approximately 100 to 300 kb per centimorgan. Preliminary linkage assignments were made for the loci regulating sinefungin resistance (snf-1) on chromosome IX and adenine arabinoside (ara-1) on chromosome V by linkage to RFLP markers. Despite random segregation of separate chromosomes, the majority of chromosomes failed to demonstrate internal recombination events and in 3/19 recombinant progeny no intramolecular recombination events were detected. The relatively low rate of intrachromosomal recombination predicts that tight linkage for unknown genes can be established with a relatively small set of markers. This genetic linkage map should prove useful in mapping genes that regulate drug resistance and other biological phenotypes in this important opportunistic pathogen.

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Selected References

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