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Exp Parasitol. 1983 Apr;55(2):207-18.

Toxoplasma gondii: genetic crosses reveal phenotypic suppression of hydroxyurea resistance by fluorodeoxyuridine resistance.


Mutants resistant to sinefungin (SF) and hydroxyurea (HU) were isolated from an oocyst-producing strain of Toxoplasma gondii with the aid of mutagenesis with ethylnitrosourea. These mutants were used with previously described mutants resistant to adenine arabinoside (araA) and fluorodeoxyuridine (FUDR) in genetic crosses in cats. In order to interpret the data from crosses in which all four mutants were used to infect the same cat, it was necessary to devise a mathematical expression to predict the recombination frequency for unlinked markers. This frequency was shown in theory to be half of the product of the two parental phenotype frequencies. A series of crosses in which the parental frequencies were systematically varied yielded frequencies of recombination that were in accord with this calculation. The four-way crosses in the same cat showed unlinked recombination between all markers except HU and FUDR. This pair of markers yielded no doubly resistant recombinants, suggesting complete linkage. However, linkage was excluded when a binary cross between the HU- and FUDR-resistant mutants resulted in the normal number of doubly sensitive recombinants. The lack of doubly resistant recombinants was shown to be a consequence of phenotypic suppression of HU resistance by FUDR resistance. This suppression was first demonstrated by showing that an FUDR-resistant mutant selected from an HU-resistant parasite lost the HU resistance. The phenotypically suppressed HU-resistant gene was revealed by genetic crosses with wild type T. gondii. Although both parental stains were sensitive to HU, some of the progeny parasites were resistant.

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