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Genome Architecture and Dynamics in the Protozoan Parasite Leishmania (pp. 81-100) $100.00
Authors:  (Yvon Sterkers, Laurence Lachaud, Olivia Touzet, Nathalie Bourgeois, Lucien Crobu, Michel Pagès and Patrick Bastien, Université Montpellier 1, UFR Médecine, Laboratoire de Parasitologie-Mycologie, France, and others)
Abstract:
The systematic sequencing of the genome of different species of the protozoan
parasite Leishmania has brought paradoxical data. Despite some of these species having
diverged several million years ago, a peculiar genome organization can be observed, with
a polycistronic gene organization recalling that of prokaryotes, as well as the near
absence of RNA polymerase II promoters. Moreover, although these different species
have a large diversity of hosts and vectors and are responsible for a broad spectrum of
diseases in man, their genomes exhibit an extreme degree of conservation of synteny. The
general genome architecture among different species was essentially conserved across
evolution, excepted three major chromosome fusion/breakage events. Paradoxically,
Leishmania exhibits an outstanding genome instability with (i) frequent both intra- and
extra- chromosomal amplifications, either spontaneously or in response to drug pressure,
and (ii) a constitutive 'mosaic aneuploidy’. The latter is responsible for an extraordinary
diversification of the ploidy, hence genome, contents in the cells that constitute a
population/strain. The whole of this genomic instability may have the same origin, i.e. a
defect in the regulation of chromosomal DNA replication. 


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Genome Architecture and Dynamics in the Protozoan Parasite <i>Leishmania</i> (pp. 81-100)