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We have used immunofluorescent detection of 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine-substituted DNA in order to determine the timing of initiation and the duration of nuclear and kinetoplast S-phases within the procyclic stage of the Trypanosoma brucei cell cycle. Both nuclear and kinetoplast S-phases were shown to be periodic, occupying 0.18 and 0.12 of the unit cell cycle, respectively. In addition, initiation of both of these S-phases were in approximate synchrony, differing by only 0.03 of the unit cell cycle. We have also used a monoclonal antibody that recognises the basal bodies of T. brucei in order to visualise cells possessing a new pro-basal body and hence determine the time of pro-basal body formation within the cell cycle. Pro-basal body formation occurred within a few minutes of the initiation of nuclear S-phase, at 0.41 of the unit cell cycle. This provides detection of the earliest known cell cycle event in T. brucei at the level of the light microscope. Cell cycle events including initiation of nuclear and kinetoplast DNA replication and pro-basal body formation may be strictly coordinated in T. brucei in order to maintain the precise single-mitochondrion (kinetoplast), singleflagellum status of the interphase cell.


Journal article


J Cell Sci

Publication Date



95 ( Pt 1)


49 - 57


Animals, Cell Cycle, Cell Nucleus, DNA Replication, Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Interphase, Organelles, Trypanosoma brucei brucei