Gene exchange in African trypanosomes: characterisation of a new hybrid genotype

Jeremy Sternberg, Andrew Tait*, Susan Haley, Jerry M. Wells, Richard W.F. Le Page, Jurg Schweizer, Leo Jenni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


We describe the isolation of a hybrid Trypanosoma brucei clone following the mixed cyclical transmission of two parental clones through tsetse flies. The characterisation of this clone reveals some new facets of the process of genetic exchange in T. brucei. The inheritance of four isoenzyme loci and restriction fragment polymorphisms at two loci was interpretable in 'mendelian' genetic terms, involving meiosis either before or after the genetic exchange event. However, at a further two isoenzyme loci a deviation from mendelian behaviour was observed. Pulse field gel analysis showed that the hybrid clone possessed a new combination of intermediate size chromosomes. Examination of kinetoplast DNA variants showed uniparental kinetoplast inheritance, and with reference to previous work we conclude that the kinetoplast can be inherited from either parent. The nuclear DNA content of the hybrid clone was measured and found to be identical to the parental nuclear DNA contents. This finding, together with the inheritance of isoenzyme and RFLP markers, is discussed with respect to possible models for genetic exchange.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-200
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular and biochemical parasitology
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Genetic exchange
  • Hybrid phenotype and genotype
  • Nuclear DNA content
  • Trypanosoma brucei


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