A system for stable transformation of Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoites was developed that exploited the susceptibility of Toxoplasma to chloramphenicol. Introduction of the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) gene fused to Toxoplasma flanking sequences followed by chloramphenicol selection resulted in parasites stably expressing CAT. A construct incorporating the tandemly repeated gene, B1, targeted efficiently to its homologous chromosomal locus. Knockout of the single-copy gene, ROP1, was also successful. Stable transformation should permit the identification and analysis of Toxoplasma genes important in the interaction of this opportunistic parasite with its host.
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