The molecular karyotype of Leishmania major and mapping of α and β tubulin gene families to multiple unlinked chromosomal loci

Terry W. Spithill, Nicholas Samaras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


The arrangement of tubulin genes in the genome of the protozoan parasite Leishmania major was studied by genomic Southern blot analysis and mapping of genes to chromosomes fractionated by pulsed field gradient gel (PFG) electro-phoresis. α-tubulin genes exist as a tandem array of 2.4 kb PstI fragments, β-tubulin genes are found as a tandem array of 3.9 kb AvaI or PvuI fragments, but additional genes are also found on other genomic DNA fragments. Chromosome-sized DNA molecules released from promastigotes of L.major were fractionated into at least 17 chromosome bands of approximate size 400-4000 kb by PFG gel electrophoresis. Some bands may be present in non-equimolar amounts suggesting that there may be more than 17 chromosomes. All α-tubulin genes were localized to a single band (chromosome 7). β-tubulin genes were localized to four bands (chromosomes 6, 10, 16 and 17). This shows that the α- and β-tubulin gene families are unlinked in L.major. There is a single chromosomal locus for the α-tubulin tandem array whereas β-tubulin genes exist both as a tandem array and as dispersed genes at four chromosomal loci.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4155-4169
Number of pages15
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 1985

Cite this