Genetic diversity among Toxoplasma gondii isolates from different hosts and geographical locations revealed by analysis of ROP13 gene sequences
Toxoplasma gondii can infect almost all the warm-blooded animals and human beings, causing serious public health problems and economic losses worldwide. Rhoptry protein 13 (ROP13) plays some roles in the invasion process of T. gondii. In this study, sequence variation in ROP13 gene among 14 T. gondii isolates from different geographical locations and hosts was examined. The ROP13 gene was amplified from individual isolates and sequenced. Results show that the length of the ROP13 sequences was 1203 bp. In total, there were 44 variable nucleotide positions in the ROP13 sequences, and sequence variations were 0.1 to 2.0% among the 14 examined T. gondii isolates, representing higher rate in transversion than in transition. Intra-specific nucleotide variations were mainly at the second codon positions. Phylogenetic analysis of the 14 examined T. gondii isolates indicate that the ROP13 sequence was not a suitable genetic marker to differentiate T. gondii isolates of different genotypes from different hosts and geographical regions. Low variation in ROP13 gene sequence may suggest that ROP13 gene could represent a good vaccine candidate against toxoplasmosis.
Key words: Toxoplasma gondii, toxoplasmosis, rhpotry protein 13 (ROP13), sequence variation, phylogenetic analysis.