Reporter lines based on the gexp02 promoter enable early quantification of sexual conversion rates in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

Harvie P. Portugaliza, Oriol Llora-Batlle, Anna Rosanas-Urgell, Alfred Cortes

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article

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Abstract

Transmission of malaria parasites from humans to mosquito vectors requires that some asexual parasites differentiate into sexual forms termed gametocytes. The balance between proliferation in the same host and conversion into transmission forms can be altered by the conditions of the environment. The ability to accurately measure the rate of sexual conversion under different conditions is essential for research addressing the mechanisms underlying sexual conversion, and to assess the impact of environmental factors. Here we describe new Plasmodium falciparum transgenic lines with genomeinte-grated constructs in which a fluorescent reporter is expressed under the control of the promoter of the gexp02 gene. Using these parasite lines, we developed a sexual conversion assay that shortens considerably the time needed for an accurate determination of sexual conversion rates, and dispenses the need to add chemicals to inhibit parasite replication. Furthermore, we demonstrate that gexp02 is expressed specifically in sexual parasites, with expression starting as early as the sexual ring stage, which makes it a candidate marker for circulating sexual rings in epidemiological studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14595
JournalScientific Reports
Volume9
Issue number1
Number of pages12
ISSN2045-2322
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • TRANSMISSION
  • COMMITMENT
  • GAMETOCYTOGENESIS
  • GAMETOCYTES
  • EXPRESSION
  • DIFFERENTIATION
  • IDENTIFICATION
  • CULTURE
  • GENES
  • ASSAY

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