A cryptic sexual reproductive cycle in Leishmania has been inferred through population genetic studies revealing the presence of hybrid genotypes in natural isolates, with attempts made to decipher sexual strategies by studying complex chromosomal inheritance patterns. A more informative approach is to study the products of controlled, laboratory-based experiments where known strains or species are crossed in the sand fly vector to generate hybrid progeny. These hybrids can be subsequently studied through high resolution sequencing technologies and software suites such as PAINT that disclose inheritance patterns including ploidies, parental chromosome contributions and recombinations, all of which can inform the sexual strategy. In this work, we discuss the computational methods in PAINT that can be used to interpret the sexual strategies adopted specifically by aneuploid organisms and summarize how PAINT has been applied to the analysis of experimental hybrids to reveal meiosis-like sexual recombination in Leishmania.

Original languageEnglish
Article number167
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Aneuploidy
  • Bioinformatics
  • Chromosomal inheritance
  • Clonality and sexuality
  • Leishmania
  • Meiosis
  • Next-generation sequencing


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