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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 1998 Aug 1;94(2):155-73.

The molecular karyotype of the megabase chromosomes of Trypanosoma brucei and the assignment of chromosome markers.

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Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, UK.


We present the molecular karyotype of the megabase chromosomes of Trypanosoma brucei stock TREU927/4 (927). We have identified 11 diploid chromosomes ranging in size from 1 to 5.2 Mb approximately and pairs of homologues differ in size by up to 15%. A total of 401 cDNA probes were hybridised to T. brucei stock 927 chromosomes and 168 chromosome-specific markers were defined. Most of these markers were hybridised to the separated chromosomal DNA of two other cloned field isolates and four F1 progeny clones from a laboratory cross. The chromosomes vary in size by up to two and a half times between stocks and the DNA content of the 11 pairs of homologues varies by up to 33% in different stocks. Stock 927 contains the smallest chromosomes and the least nuclear genomic DNA. Nevertheless, all 11 syntenic groups of cDNA probes are maintained in all stocks. In the F1 hybrids only we have identified one extra PFG band to which none of our probes hybridise. We have shown that probes thought to be specific for the bloodstream-form variant surface glycoprotein expression sites hybridise to different chromosomes in different stocks and may hybridise to either one or both of a homologous pair of chromosomes. We have also determined the chromosomal location of the ribosomal RNA gene arrays.

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