- Trypanosoma cruzi is a protozoan parasite that causes Chagas’ disease, a neglected tropical disease that kills approximately 50,000 people each year. T. cruzi adapts to different niches within its human host and insect vector by assuming a range of morphologies. However, the cell biology and morphology of the insect epimastigote form are poorly understood.
- The epimastigote form cell cycle was characterised using a range of morphometric and cytoskeletal markers, prolonged live cell imaging of individual cells, and expansion microscopy. The epimastigote cell body was found to widen and shorten as part of a highly asymmetric cell division in which the daughter cell inheriting the new flagellum was smaller, and subsequently took longer to divide.
- This highlights differences and similarities in trypanosomatid cell division and sheds light on how T. cruzi colonises its insect vector.
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