Population Genetics Provides Evidence for Recombination in Giardia

Margarethe A. Cooper, Rodney D. Adam, Michael Worobey, Charles R. Sterling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

125 Scopus citations

Abstract

Giardia lamblia (syn. Giardia intestinalis, Giardia duodenalis) is an enteric protozoan parasite with two nuclei, and it might be one of the earliest branching eukaryotes [1]. However, the discovery of at least rudimentary forms of certain features, such as Golgi and mitochondria, has refuted the proposal that its emergence from the eukaryotic lineage predated the development of certain eukaryotic features. The recent recognition of many of the genes known to be required for meiosis in the genome has also cast doubt on the idea that Giardia is primitively asexual, but so far there has been no direct evidence of sexual reproduction in Giardia, and population data have suggested clonal reproduction. We did a multilocus sequence evaluation of the genotype A2 reference strain, JH, and five genotype A2 isolates from a highly endemic area in Peru. Loci from different chromosomes yielded significantly different phylogenetic trees, indicating that they do not share the same evolutionary history; within individual loci, tests for recombination yielded significant statistical support for meiotic recombination. These observations provide genetic data supportive of sexual reproduction in Giardia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1984-1988
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume17
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 20 2007

Keywords

  • EVO_ECOL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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