Daughter cell assembly in the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii

Ke Hu, Tara Mann, Boris Striepen, Con J.M. Beckers, David S. Roos, John M. Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations


The phylum Apicomplexa includes thousands of species of obligate intracellular parasites, many of which are significant human and/or animal pathogens. Parasites in this phylum replicate by assembling daughters within the mother, using a cytoskeletal and membranous scaffolding termed the inner membrane complex. Most apicomplexan parasites, including Plasmodium sp. (which cause malaria), package many daughters within a single mother during mitosis, whereas Toxoplasma gondii typically packages only two. The comparatively simple pattern of T. gondii cell division, combined with its molecular genetic and cell biological accessibility, makes this an ideal system to study parasite cell division. A recombinant fusion between the fluorescent protein reporter YFP and the inner membrane complex protein IMC1 has been exploited to examine daughter scaffold formation in T. gondii. Time-lapse video microscopy permits the entire cell cycle of these parasites to be visualized in vivo. In addition to replication via endodyogeny (packaging two parasites at a time), T. gondii is also capable of forming multiple daughters, suggesting fundamental similarities between cell division in T. gondii and other apicomplexan parasites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-606
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular biology of the cell
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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