ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.2120.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Parasitology Keywords: Trypanosoma cruzi; genome sequencing; reverse genetics; drug efficacy testing
Online: 31 August 2023 (04:19:55 CEST)
Since the first published genome sequence of Trypanosoma cruzi in 2005, there has been tremendous technological advance in genomics, reverse genetics, and assay development for this elusive pathogen. However, there is still an unmet need for new and better drugs to treat Chagas disease. Here we introduce a T. cruzi assay strain that is useful for drug research as well as basic studies in host-pathogen interaction. Trypanosoma cruzi STIB980 is a strain of discrete typing unit TcI that grows well in culture as axenic epimastigotes or intracellular amastigotes. We have evaluated the optimal parameters for genetic transfection and constructed derivatives of T. cruzi STIB980 that express reporter genes for fluorescence- or bioluminescence-based drug efficacy testing, as well as a Cas9-expressing line for CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing. The genome of T. cruzi STIB980 was sequenced by combining short-read Illumina with long-read Oxford Nanopore technologies. The latter served for the primary assembly, the former to correct mistakes and fill the gaps. This resulted in a high-quality nuclear haplotype assembly of 28 Mb in 400 contigs, containing 10,043 open-reading frames with a median length of 1077 bp. We believe that T. cruzi STIB980 is a useful addition to the antichagasic toolbox, and propose that it can serve as a DTU TcI reference strain for drug efficacy testing.