Growth rate is a major pathogenesis factor in the parasite Toxoplasma gondii; however, how cell division is controlled in this protozoan is poorly understood. Herein, we show that cenfrosomal duplication is an indicator of S phase entry while centrosome migration marks mitotic entry. Using the pattern of centrosomal replication, we confirmed that mutant ts11C9 undergoes a bimodal cell cycle arrest that is characterized by two subpopulations containing either single or duplicated centrosomes which correlate with the bipartite genome distribution observed at the non-permissive temperature. Genetic rescue of ts11C9 was performed using a parental RH strain cDNA library, and the cDNA responsible for conferring temperature resistance (growth at 40°C) was recovered by recombination cloning. A single T. gondii gene encoding the protein homologue of XPMC2 was responsible for genetic rescue of the temperature-sensitive defect in ts11C9 parasites. This protein is a known suppressor of mitotic defects, and in tachyzoites, TgXPMC2-YFP localised to the parasite nucleus and nucleolus which is consistent with the expected subcellular localization of critical mitotic factors. Altogether, these results demonstrate that ts11C9 is a conditional mitotic mutant containing a single defect which influences two distinct control points in the T. gondii tachyzoite cell cycle.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology