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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 1990 Aug;42(1):45-53.

Kinetoplast DNA minicircles are inherited from both parents in genetic hybrids of Trypanosoma brucei.

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Department of Pathology, University of Bristol Veterinary School, Langford, U.K.


We have examined the inheritance of kinetoplast DNA (kDNA) in gentic crosses of trypanosomes. In 2 independent crosses of Trypanosoma brucei spp. trypanosomes, the kDNA maxicircles which carry the genes for mitochondrial biogenesis, were inherited from one parent only, as already found by other workers. However, the other component of kDNA, the minicircles, were inherited from both parents. This was demonstrated by Southern analysis using cloned minicircle probes. The inheritance of kDNA is therefore not uniparental. Our data point to fusion of the parental kinetoplast DNA networks during genetic exchange, with gradual loss of one or other parental maxicircle type due to random segregation of maxicircles at subsequent mitotic divisions. We infer that the first event of genetic exchange is fusion of parental trypanosomes (either haploid or diploid), followed at some point by fusion of the parental mitochondria.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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