18S rRNA sequences of Leishmania enriettii promastigote and amastigote

Katharine G. Field, Scott M. Landfear, Stephen J. Giovannoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Dideoxy sequencing with reverse transcriptase and universal primers was used to obtain partial sequences of the 18S rRNAs from the promastigote and amastigote life-cycle stages of L. enriettii. Approximately 1400 nucleotides of sequence from the two stages were compared. Unlike Plasmodium berghei, in which 18S rRNAs from the mosquito stage and the mammalian stage of the life cycle are only 96.5% similar, the amastigote and promastigote rRNAs of L. enriettii are identical. In addition, a comparison of 1425 bases of the L. enriettii promastigote sequence with the published sequence of L. donovani revealed only four differences; the two sequences are 99.8% similar. A likely explanation for this high similarity, considering the 97% similarity between L. donovani and the related genus Crithidia fasciculata, is that the two species are closely related and of comparatively recent origin. The low diversity between the 18S rRNA sequences of Leishmania species is similar to that reported for 13 Tetrahymena species, where similarities ranged from 98.1 to 99.9%, but different from the pattern reported in the genus Naegleria, where divergence was greater.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)483-485
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal for Parasitology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • 18S rRNA
  • Leishmania enriettii
  • evolution
  • taxonomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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