Pronunciation: ki-ne'to-plast, ki-net'o-
An intensely staining rod-shaped, diskoid, or spheric extranuclear DNA structure found in parasitic flagellates (family Trypanosomatidae) near the base of the flagellum, behind the blepharoplast, and often at right angles to the nucleus. Visible by light microscopy, electron micrographs reveal it as part of a single giant mitochondrion filling most of the cytoplasm of amastigote flagellates. Identifying kinetoplast as kDNA distinguishes it from nuclear DNA(nDNA). The kinetoplast divides independently, but with the basal body, before nuclear division. Kinetoplast formerly included parabasal body and blepharoplast in a locomotory apparatus but is now recognized as a distinct organelle of most trypanosomatids.
[kineto- + G. plastos, formed]
See Also: parabasal body
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