Flagellar elongation induced by glucose limitation is preadaptive for Trypanosoma cruzi differentiation

Kevin M. Tyler, David M. Engman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Trypanosomes must sense and respond to environmental change in order to progress through their life cycles. The American trypanosome, Trypanosoma cruzi, differentiates from the noninfective epimastigote form to the infective metacyclic form spontaneously in axenic culture. Here, we investigate the initial stimulus for that change and demonstrate that T. cruzi epimastigotes sense limitation of glucose in the medium and respond by undergoing significant morphological and biochemical change. As part of this change, the mean flagellar length of the population triples, which is correlated with an increased ability to maintain interactions with hydrophobic substrates, a requirement for differentiation to the next life cycle stage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-278
Number of pages10
JournalCell Motility and the Cytoskeleton
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2000

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