We report improved separation of chromosome-sized DNA molecules of the coccidian parasite Cryptosporidium parvum with contour-clamped homogeneous electric fields (CHEF). We used scanning densitometry to determine that the most likely number of chromosomes is eight. Molecular probes consisting of cloned genes were used to distinguish each of five bands visible on CHEF gels. We have also identified a low-molecular-size DNA molecule possibly related to the 35-kb circular DNAs found in other Apicomplexa
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