Schistosoma mansoni has a genome of 270 Mb contained on 8 pairs of chromosomes. C-banding has been a useful technique in identifying the 7 autosomal and sex chromosomes. However, even with C-banding, S. mansoni chromosomes 5, 6, and 7 are difficult to discriminate from each other, because of their small sizes, morphological similarity, and poor banding patterns. We have identified probes that specifically paint chromosomes 5, 6, and 7 of S. mansoni with the use of chromosome microdissection and the degenerate oligonucleotide-primed polymerase chain reaction (DOP-PCR). Exact chromosome identification is required for accurate chromosome mapping of genomic clones and genetic elements, which is an essential component of the schistosome genome project.
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