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Genomics. 1996 Aug 1;35(3):509-16.

Medium-range restriction maps of five chromosomes of Leishmania infantum and localization of size-variable regions.

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  • 1Laboratoire Génome des Parasites, Parasitologie, Faculté de Mèdecine, Montpellier, France.


The chromosomes of the human protozoan parasite Leishmania exhibit striking size polymorphisms among different strains. To define the structural basis for these variations, we have constructed full-length restriction maps of five chromosomes of 370 to 490 kb in Leishmania infantum clone LEM1317. Rare-cutting sites for the enzymes AseI, DraI, XbaI, SspI, SpeI, and SfiI were mapped by partial and complete digestion of either gel-purified chromosomes or total DNA. Sixty-eight anonymous DNA probes were localized on these maps, as well as the mini-exon and dihydrofolate reductase-thymidilate synthase gene probes. These maps were compared with those from other strains of L. infantum and Leishmania donovani. This showed that the distribution of the restriction sites was conserved in these two close species. Four regions involved in the size variations of three chromosomes were localized; subtelomeric sequences were responsible for size variability in three of four cases. The whole of this study takes a particular significance in the frame of the project of complete physical mapping and sequencing of the Leishmania genome.

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