Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2007 Aug 6;3(8):e2879. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002879.

An expanded inventory of conserved meiotic genes provides evidence for sex in Trichomonas vaginalis.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biology, Roy J. Carver Center for Comparative Genomics, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, United States of America.

Abstract

Meiosis is a defining feature of eukaryotes but its phylogenetic distribution has not been broadly determined, especially among eukaryotic microorganisms (i.e. protists)-which represent the majority of eukaryotic 'supergroups'. We surveyed genomes of animals, fungi, plants and protists for meiotic genes, focusing on the evolutionarily divergent parasitic protist Trichomonas vaginalis. We identified homologs of 29 components of the meiotic recombination machinery, as well as the synaptonemal and meiotic sister chromatid cohesion complexes. T. vaginalis has orthologs of 27 of 29 meiotic genes, including eight of nine genes that encode meiosis-specific proteins in model organisms. Although meiosis has not been observed in T. vaginalis, our findings suggest it is either currently sexual or a recent asexual, consistent with observed, albeit unusual, sexual cycles in their distant parabasalid relatives, the hypermastigotes. T. vaginalis may use meiotic gene homologs to mediate homologous recombination and genetic exchange. Overall, this expanded inventory of meiotic genes forms a useful "meiosis detection toolkit". Our analyses indicate that these meiotic genes arose, or were already present, early in eukaryotic evolution; thus, the eukaryotic cenancestor contained most or all components of this set and was likely capable of performing meiotic recombination using near-universal meiotic machinery.

PMID:
18663385
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2488364
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (2)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk