Read, write, adapt: Challenges and opportunities during kinetoplastid genome replication

Jeziel D. Damasceno, Catarina A. Marques, Jennifer Black, Emma Briggs, Richard Mcculloch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The genomes of all organisms are read throughout their growth and development, generating new copies during cell division and encoding the cellular activities dictated by the genome’s content. However, genomes are not invariant information stores but are purposefully altered in minor and major ways, adapting cellular behaviour and driving evolution. Kinetoplastids are eukaryotic microbes that display a wide range of such read–write genome activities, in many cases affecting critical aspects of their biology, such as host adaptation. Here we discuss the range of read–write genome changes found in two well-studied kinetoplastid parasites, Trypanosoma brucei and Leishmania, focusing on recent work that suggests such adaptive genome variation is linked to novel strategies the parasites use to replicate their unconventional genomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-34
Number of pages13
JournalTrends in Genetics
Issue number1
Early online date26 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • kinetoplastid
  • DNA replication
  • DNA repair
  • antigenic variation
  • adaptation


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