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Basal bodies are microtubule-based organelles that assemble cilia and flagella, which are critical for motility and sensory functions in all major eukaryotic lineages. The core structure of the basal body is highly conserved, but there is variability in biogenesis and additional functions that are organism and cell type specific. Work carried out in the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei has arguably produced one of the most detailed dissections of basal body structure and biogenesis within the context of the flagellar pocket and associated organelles. In this review, we provide a detailed overview of the basic basal body structure in T. brucei along with the accessory structures and show how basal body movements during the basal body duplication cycle orchestrate cell and organelle morphogenesis. With this in-depth three-dimensional knowledge, identification of many basal body genes coupled with excellent genetic tools makes it an attractive model organism to study basal body biogenesis and maintenance.

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Journal article



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Axoneme, Basal body, Centriole, Cilium, Flagellar pocket, Flagellum, Microtubules, Trypanosoma brucei