Literally meaning: “plastid associated with movement” because kinetoplast is associated with basal body (kinetosome) of some protozoa from which a flagellum or cilium arises in motile eukaryotic cells.
Origin: Anc Greek
πλάσμα (noun)/plasma (=something formed or molded, an idol)> πλάσσω/plasso(=create, form, mold).
The kinetoplast was observed by early researchers in light microscope as basophilic granules located near the basal body of a flagellum named it as “kinetonucleus”. YJenyon, Dobell, and Alexeieff have ceased to use the term kinetonucleus, substituting the name kinetoplast (1917). Later in the 60s, after the first electron microscopic studies of this organelle conducted by Vickerman and Steinert, had it become clear that the kinetoplast represents a portion of a single branched mitochondrion of the cell containing a large mass of mitochondrial DNA.
Kinetoplast is a structure associated with the basal body in many protozoa, primarily the Mastigophora as Trypanosomes. Κinetoplast is consisting of circular DNA inside a large mitochondrion which replicates independently. The presence of the kinetoplast is easy to determine by fluorescence with a DNA binding dye DAPI or by Giemsa staining.