Giardia trophozoites are polyploid and have five chromosomes. The chromosome homologues demonstrate considerable size heterogeneity due to variation in the subtelomeric regions. We used clones from the genome project with telomeric sequence at one end to identify six subtelomeric regions in addition to previously identified subtelomeric regions, to study the telomeric arrangement of the chromosomes. The subtelomeric regions included two retroposons, one retroposon pseudogene, and two vsp genes, in addition to the previously identified subtelomeric regions that include ribosomal DNA repeats. The presence of vsp genes in a subtelomeric region suggests that telomeric rearrangements may contribute to the generation of vsp diversity. These studies of the subtelomeric regions of Giardia may contribute to our understanding of the factors that maintain stability, while allowing diversity in chromosome structure.
- Giardia lamblia
- Subtelomeric region