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Let’s take a closer look at Toxoplasma gondii and its genome.


Microscopic cysts containing Toxoplasma gondii develop in the tissues of many vertebrates. Here, in mouse brain tissue, thousands of resting parasites (stained red) are enveloped by a thin parasite cyst wall. Image Number D1210-1 (J. Dubey, ARS, USDA)


Quick facts about Toxoplasma

  • Toxoplasma is a unicellular eukaryotic parasite.
  • 30-50% of the world’s population is infected with Toxoplasma.
  • Toxoplasma has a haploid genome unlike humans who have a diploid genome.
  • Toxoplasma has 14 chromosomes; we have 23 pairs.
  • The size of the Toxoplasma genome is 67 million base pairs and contains ~9,000 genes. The human genome is 3 billion base pairs and contains close to 20,000 genes.