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Phylogenetic character mapping of proteomic diversity shows high correlation with subspecific phylogenetic diversity in Trypanosoma cruzi.


We performed a phylogenetic character mapping on 26 stocks of Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite responsible for Chagas disease, and 2 stocks of the sister taxon T. cruzi marinkellei to test for possible associations between T. cruzi-subspecific phylogenetic diversity and levels of protein expression, as examined by proteomic analysis and mass spectrometry. We observed a high level of correlation (P < 10(-4)) between genetic distance, as established by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis, and proteomic dissimilarities estimated by proteomic Euclidian distances. Several proteins were found to be specifically associated to T. cruzi phylogenetic subdivisions (discrete typing units). This study explores the previously uncharacterized links between infraspecific phylogenetic diversity and gene expression in a human pathogen. It opens the way to searching for new vaccine and drug targets and for identification of specific biomarkers at the subspecific level of pathogens.

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