Projects & Grants

Internal Grant Competition DGC
START-UP grant

Origin of dixenous life cycle in Trypanosomatidae
Project IdSGS25/PřF/2014
Main solverprof. MSc. Vjačeslav Jurčenko, Ph.D.
Period1/2014 - 12/2014
ProviderSpecifický VŠ výzkum
AnotationKinetoplastid flagellates are ones of the most successful parasites on Earth. They are also known for their exceptionally high number of unique molecular features, many of which provided key insight into our understanding of how eukaryotic cell works. The class Kinetoplastea unites free-living, commensalic or parasitic Bodonidae and derived obligatory parasitic Trypanosomatidae. The best known members of the latter family are Trypanosoma species, responsible for numerous serious diseases, such as African sleeping sickness and Chagas disease of humans. Protists ranked into the genus Leishmania are causative agents of leishmaniases, seriously affecting millions of people in the tropics, while Phytomonas species are responsible for deadly diseases of economically important crops, such as hartrot of oil palms. All these parasites are dixenous (they have two different hosts - invertebrates and vertebrates - in their life cycle). Also united within the family Trypanosomatidae are numerous monoxenous (only one invertebrate host) species of the genera Leptomonas, Crithidia, Herpetomonas, Sergeia, Blastocrithidia, Blechomonas, etc. We and others have demonstrated that dixenous species have originated from their monoxenous relatives. The molecular mechanisms of adaptation to the dixenous life cycle are not clear and will be investigated here.