Despite the significance of Plasmodium vivax as the most widespread human malaria parasite and a major public health problem, gene expression in this parasite is poorly understood. To accelerate gene discovery and facilitate the annotation phase of the P. vivax genome project, we have undertaken a transcriptome approach to study gene expression in the mixed blood stages of a P. vivax field isolate. Using a cDNA library constructed from purified blood stages, we have obtained single-pass sequences for approximately 21,500 expressed sequence tags (ESTs), the largest number of transcript tags obtained so far for this species. Cluster analysis revealed that the library is highly redundant, resulting in 5407 clusters. Clustered ESTs were searched against public protein databases for functional annotation, and more than one-third showed a significant match, the majority of these to Plasmodium falciparum proteins. The most abundant clusters were to genes encoding ribosomal proteins and proteins involved in metabolism, consistent with the predominance of trophozoites in the field isolate sample. In spite of the scarcity of other parasite stages in the field isolate, we could identify genes that are expressed in rings, schizonts and gametocytes. This study should facilitate our understanding of the gene expression in P. vivax asexual stages and provide valuable data for gene prediction and annotation of the P. vivax genome sequence.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology