Trypanosoma, which can cause sleeping sickness, was found to have a unique process of sex cell production
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Traditional germ cells divide twice to produce all four sex cells (or gametes/gametes) at the same time. For example, four human sperms are produced by a single germ cell.
However, the research team led by Professor Wendy Gibson of the School of Biological Sciences at the school observed several strange characteristics, which showed that the cells of these parasites did not comply with conventional biological rules.
Research Picture-1: Brinell Cone The meiosis model of insects
Specifically, trypanosomes have two unique intracellular structures, namely kinesoplasts (circular DNA network) and glycosomes (a type containing glycolytic Enzyme membranes close organelles).
It does not follow the main rule of “DNA is faithfully transcribed into RNA”, but returns and edits some RNA transcripts after generation.
Research Picture-2: Use YL1/2 antibody identification matrix against tyrosinated α-tubulin
Professor Wendy Gibson explained: Compared with the well-known rules of normal cell biology (such as yeast and mice), trypanosomes The way of meiosis can be described as maverick.
Beyond it, there is a wonderful world of single-celled organisms (protozoa), but we know very little about it. The reason why trypanosomes have received so much attention is also because they are a pathogen that is susceptible to humans and livestock.
Research Picture-3: Reduction Visualization of mitochondria and cell nuclei during number division
Biologists believe that sexual reproduction began to evolve very early after the emergence of the first complex cells billions of years ago.
Sex cells are produced through a special form called meiosis. This process reduces the number of chromosomes by half, so gametes have only one complete set of chromosomes (instead of two).
Genome from two gametes , Will be combined in the process of sexual reproduction to produce new gene combinations in offspring. And pathogenic microorganisms such as trypanosomes have obviously evolved to be more inclined to combine a large number of disease-causing genes into one strain.
Through the in-depth understanding of this process, it will help scientists understand how new pathogenic microbial strains are produced and how characteristics such as drug resistance are transmitted between different strains.
Research Picture-8: Cell Principal component analysis of morphology
The details of this research have been published in the journal Communications Biology.