Heterogeneity of genome content is commonly observed in axenic cultures of Entamoeba histolytica. Cells with multiple nuclei and nuclei with heterogenous genome contents suggest that regulatory mechanisms that ensure alternation of DNA synthesis and mitosis are absent in this organism. Therefore, several endo-reduplicative cycles may occur without mitosis. The data also shows that unlike other endo-reduplicating organisms, E. histolytica does not undergo a precise number of endo-reduplicative cycles. We propose that irregular endo-reduplication and genome partitioning lead to heterogeneity in the genome content of E. histolytica trophozoites in their proliferative phase. The goal of future studies should be aimed at understanding the mechanisms that are involved in (a) accumulation of multiple genome contents in a single nucleus; (b) genome segregation in nuclei that contain multiple genome contents and (c) maintenance of genome fidelity in E. histolytica.

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