Transformation of Monomorphic and Pleomorphic Trypanosoma brucei

  • Richard McCulloch
  • Erik Vassella
  • Peter Burton
  • Michael Boshart
  • J. David Barry
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology™ book series (MIMB, volume 262)


African trypanosomes, such as Trypanosoma brucei, are protozoan parasites of mammals that were first described over 100 hundred years ago. They have long been the subjects of biological investigation, which has yielded insights into a number of fundamental, as well as novel, cellular processes in all organisms. In the last decade or so, genetic manipulation of trypanosomes has become possible through DNA transformation, allowing yet more detailed analysis of the biology of the parasite. One facet of this is that DNA transformation has itself been used as an assay for recombination and will undoubtedly lead to further genetic approaches to examine this process. Here we describe protocols for DNA transformation of Trypanosoma brucei, including two different life cycle stages and two different strain types that are distinguished by morphological and developmental criteria. We consider the application of transformation to recombination, as well as the uses of transforming the different life cycle stages and strain types.

Key Words

trypanosome Trypanosoma brucei parasite transformation recombination VSG antigenic variation 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard McCulloch
    • 1
  • Erik Vassella
    • 2
  • Peter Burton
    • 1
  • Michael Boshart
    • 3
  • J. David Barry
    • 1
  1. 1.Welcome Centre for Molecular ParasitologyUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK
  2. 2.Institute of Cell BiologyUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  3. 3.Department of Biology IUniversity of MunichMunichGermany

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