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Eukaryot Cell. 2008 Apr;7(4):569-74. doi: 10.1128/EC.00415-07. Epub 2008 Feb 22.

Cell cycle synchrony in Giardia intestinalis cultures achieved by using nocodazole and aphidicolin.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.


Giardia intestinalis is a ubiquitous intestinal protozoan parasite and has been proposed to represent the earliest diverging lineage of extant eukaryotes. Despite the importance of Giardia as a model organism, research on Giardia has been hampered by an inability to achieve cell cycle synchrony for in vitro cultures. This report details successful methods for attaining cell cycle synchrony in Giardia cultures. The research presented here demonstrates reversible cell cycle arrest in G(1)/S and G(2)/M with aphidicolin and nocodazole, respectively. Following synchronization, cells were able to recover completely from drug treatment and remained viable and maintained synchronous growth for 6 h. These techniques were used to synchronize Giardia cultures to increase the percentages of mitotic spindles in the cultures. This method of synchronization will enhance our ability to study cell cycle-dependent processes in G. intestinalis.

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