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Mol Cell Biol. 1990 Nov;10(11):6079-83.

Chromosome organization of the protozoan Trypanosoma brucei.

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  • 1Department of Genetics and Development, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032.


The genome of the protozoan Trypanosoma brucei is known to be diploid. Karyotype analysis has, however, failed to identify homologous chromosomes. Having refined the technique for separating trypanosome chromosomes (L. H. T. Van der Ploeg, C. L. Smith, R. I. Polvere, and K. Gottesdiener, Nucleic Acids Res. 17:3217-3227, 1989), we can now provide evidence for the presence of homologous chromosomes. By determining the chromosomal location of different genetic markers, most of the chromosomes (14, excluding the minichromosomes), could be organized into seven chromosome pairs. In most instances, the putative homologs of a pair differed in size by about 20%. Restriction enzyme analysis of chromosome-sized DNA showed that these chromosome pairs contained large stretches of homologous DNA sequences. From these data, we infer that the chromosome pairs represent homologs. The identification of homologous chromosomes gives valuable insight into the organization of the trypanosome genome, will facilitate the genetic analysis of T. brucei, and suggests the presence of haploid gametes.

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