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(cell and molecular biology)
A genetically autonomous, membrane-bound organelle associated with the basal body at the base of flagella in certain flagellates, such as the trypanosomes. Also known as parabasal body.



a cell organelle; the basal nodule of the cilia of infusoria.

The origin of the kinetoplast is associated with the centriole, an assumption supported by the similarity in ultrastructure of the two organelles. In addition to proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids, the kinetoplast contains DNA and RNA and is capable of the independent biosynthesis of protein and of self-reproduction. Kinetoplasts may give rise to cilia or trichocysts. The tendency to call all basal bodies kinetoplasts is incorrect.

References in periodicals archive ?
On the basis of ultrastructural morphology and sequence comparison of small subunit ribosomal RNAs, Leishmania and Trypanosoma are phylogenetically related and both species have a kinetoplast that contains superhelical DNA (9).
The binding of antihistone antibodies to crithidia luciliae kinetoplasts is growth cycle-dependent.