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Parasitol Today. 1994 Mar;10(3):114-7.

Organization of chromosomes in Plasmodium falciparum: a model for generating karyotypic diversity.

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  • 1DeWitt Wallace Research Laboratory, Division of Molecular Biology, Sloan-Kettering Institute, 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021, USA.


Chromosomes of the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, are compartmentalized into conserved and polymorphic domains. The conserved domains are transcribed and localized within the central region o f a chromosome, whereas the polymorphic domains are transcriptionally silent and situated at chromosome ends. Unlike the central chromosomal domains, chromosome ends contain repetitive sequence elements. In this review, Michael Lonzer, Derik de Bruin, Samuel Wertheimer and Jeffrey Ravetch propose that the chromosome ends play a functional role in generating genetic diversity by promoting meiotic and mitotic recombination and chromosomal rearrangement events.

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