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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 1999 Mar 15;99(1):41-53.

The electrophoretic karyotype of Entamoeba histolytica.

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  • 1Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Hamburg, Germany.


Although knowledge about gene organization and transcription control in the protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica has increased substantially during the last few years, questions remain open about ploidy, organization and number of chromosomes in this human pathogen. To get insight into these questions conditions were elaborated to consistently separate E. histolytica chromosomes using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Southern blot analyses indicated variations in number and size of homologous chromosomes between various E. histolytica isolates, but only minor differences were observed between clones of a given isolate. Depending on the isolate used 31-35 chromosomes were identified ranging in size from 0.3 to 2.2 megabases. The assignment of 68 independent cDNA probes to the chromosomes of three axenically cultured E. histolytica isolates identified 14 linkage groups, which suggested a haploid genome-size of < or =20 megabases. As single copy probes bound to as many as four chromosome-sized bands, it is most likely that E. histolytica has a functional ploidity of at least 4.

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