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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276On-line version ISSN 1678-8060

Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz vol.89 no.2 Rio de Janeiro Apr./Jun. 1994 

Comparative chromatin analysis of Trypanosoma congolense

Wolfram Schlimme

Markus Burri

Bruno Betschart

Hermann Hecker1 

Swiss Tropical Institute, Basel, Switzerland


The chromatin of Trypanosoma congolense was analyzed by electron microscopy. The chromatin is organized as nucleosome filaments but does not form a 30 nm fiber. There are five groups of histones, including a histone H1-like protein, which has a molecular weight within the range of the core histones, and is extremely hydrophilic. Weak histone-histone interaction, a typical feature of trypanosoma chromatin, was found. These results are similar to those for T. cruzi and T. b. brucei, but differ significantly from those for higher eukaryotes. The results confirm the model of trypanosome chromatin, and support the theory of their early separation from the other eukaryotes during the evolution. T. congolensis is an excellent model for chromatin research on trypanosomes, because it is easy to cultivate and its chromatin has, a relatively high stability, compared to that of other trypanosomes.

Key words: Trypanosoma congolense; chromatin structure; histones; lower eukaryotes; proeyelie culture forms


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