Giardia intestinalis, a common parasitic protist, possesses a complex microtubule cytoskeleton critical for cellular function and transitioning between the cyst and trophozoite life cycle stages. The giardial microtubule cytoskeleton is comprised of highly dynamic and stable structures. Novel microtubule structures include the ventral disc that is essential for the parasite's attachment to the intestinal villi to avoid peristalsis. The completed Giardia genome combined with new molecular genetic tools and live imaging will aid in the characterization and analysis of cytoskeletal dynamics in Giardia. Fundamental areas of giardial cytoskeletal biology remain to be explored and knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of cytoskeletal functioning is needed to better understand Giardia's unique biology and pathogenesis.
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