Transcriptional ups and downs: patterns of gene expression in the life cycle of Toxoplasma gondii
Toxoplasma gondii reproduces sexually in felines and asexually in virtually all warm-blooded animals, including humans. This obligate intracellular parasite alternates between biologically distinct developmental stages throughout its complex life cycle. Stage conversion is crucial for T. gondii transmission, persistence, and the maintenance of genetic diversity within the species. Genome-wide comparative transcriptomic studies have contributed invaluable insights into the regulatory gene networks underlying T. gondii development.