Genetic evidence that metacyclic forms of Trypanosoma brucei are diploid

Andrew Tait*, C.M.R. Turner, Richard W.F. Le Page, Jerry M. Wells

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The hypothesis that metacyclic trypanosomes are haploid has been tested genetically. Five cloned stocks of Trypanosoma brucei (each having four known isoenzyme markers and six known restriction fragment length polymorphisms) have been independently transmitted through tsetse flies. Fifteen individual metacyclic organisms were taken from flies with mature cyclical infections and used to establish fresh clones. All the sub-clones from all the flies proved to be identical to the starting (parental) stocks, with respect to all the markers examined, including those markers which were heterozygous in the parental stocks. We conclude that metacyclic trypanosomes are diploid, and are not the product of an obligatory meiosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-255
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and biochemical parasitology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • Meiosis
  • Metacyclic
  • Ploidy
  • Trypanosoma brucei

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