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Parasitol Today. 1999 Sep;15(9):372-8.

Genetic manipulation of kinetoplastida.

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Zentrum für Molekulare Biologie (ZMBH), Im Neuenheimer Feld 282, Postfach 106249, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


During the 1980s, many kinetoplastid genes were cloned and their function inferred from homology with genes from other organisms, location of the corresponding proteins or expression in heterologous systems. Up until 1990, before the availability of DNA transfection methodology, we could not analyze the function of kinetoplastid genes within the organisms themselves. Since then, it has become possible to create and complement mutants, to overexpress foreign proteins in the parasites, to knock out genes and even to switch off essential functions. However, these methods are not equally applicable in all parasites. Here, Christine Clayton highlights the differences and similarities between the most commonly used model organisms, and assesses the relative advantages of different approaches and parasites for different types of investigation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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