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The acquisitions of mitochondria and plastids were important events in the evolution of the eukaryotic cell, supplying it with compartmentalized bioenergetic and biosynthetic factories. Ancient invasions by eubacteria through symbiosis more than a billion years ago initiated these processes. Advances in geochemistry, molecular phylogeny, and cell biology(More)
We describe the genome sequence of the protist Trichomonas vaginalis, a sexually transmitted human pathogen. Repeats and transposable elements comprise about two-thirds of the approximately 160-megabase genome, reflecting a recent massive expansion of genetic material. This expansion, in conjunction with the shaping of metabolic pathways that likely(More)
We present the first molecular phylogenetic examination of the evolutionary position of retortamonads, a group of mitochondrion-lacking flagellates usually found as commensals of the intestinal tracts of vertebrates. Our phylogenies include small subunit ribosomal gene sequences from six retortamonad isolates-four from mammals and two from amphibians. All(More)
Trichomonas vaginalis is a common sexually transmitted parasite that colonizes the human urogential tract where it remains extracellular and adheres to epithelial cells. Infections range from asymptomatic to highly inflammatory, depending on the host and the parasite strain. Here, we use a combination of methodologies including cell fractionation,(More)
Eukaryotes have evolved elaborate splicing mechanisms to remove introns that would otherwise destroy the protein-coding capacity of genes. Nuclear premRNA splicing requires sequence motifs in the intron and is mediated by a ribonucleoprotein complex, the spliceosome. Here we demonstrate the presence of a splicing apparatus in the protist Trichomonas(More)
The discovery of mitochondrion-type genes in organisms thought to lack mitochondria led to the demonstration that hydrogenosomes share a common ancestry with mitochondria, as well as the discovery of mitosomes in multiple eukaryotic lineages. No examples of examined eukaryotes lacking a mitochondrion-related organelle exist, implying that the endosymbiont(More)
Trichomonad parasites such as Tritrichomonas foetus produce large amounts of putrescine (1,4-diaminobutane), which is transported out of the cell via an antiport mechanism which results in the uptake of a molecule of spermine. The importance of putrescine to the survival of the parasite and its role in the biology of T. foetus was investigated by use of the(More)
The human pathogen Trichomonas vaginalis lacks conventional mitochondria and instead contains divergent mitochondrial-related organelles. These double-membrane bound organelles, called hydrogenosomes, produce molecular hydrogen. Phylogenetic and biochemical analyses of hydrogenosomes indicate a common origin with mitochondria; however identification of(More)
Few genes in the divergent eukaryote Trichomonas vaginalis have introns, despite the unusually large gene repertoire of this human-infective parasite. These introns are characterized by extended conserved regulatory motifs at the 5' and 3' boundaries, a feature shared with another divergent eukaryote, Giardia lamblia, but not with metazoan introns. This(More)
Mitochondria are the site of assembly of FeS centers of mitochondrial and cytosolic FeS proteins. Various microaerophilic or anaerobic unicellular eukaryotes lack typical mitochondria ("amitochondriate" protists). In some of these organisms, a metabolically different organelle, the hydrogenosome, is found, which is thought to derive from the same(More)