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Single-Cell RNA Sequencing Reveals Cellular Heterogeneity and Stage Transition under Temperature Stress in Synchronized Plasmodium falciparum Cells

July 14, 2021 - 09:53 -- Open Access
Rawat M, Srivastava A, Johri S, Gupta I, Karmodiya K
Microbiol Spectr. 2021 Jul 7:e0000821

The malaria parasite has a complex life cycle exhibiting phenotypic and morphogenic variations in two different hosts by existing in heterogeneous developmental states. To investigate this cellular heterogeneity of the parasite within the human host, we performed single-cell RNA sequencing of synchronized Plasmodium cells under control and temperature treatment conditions. Using the Malaria Cell Atlas ( as a guide, we identified 9 subtypes of the parasite distributed across known intraerythrocytic stages.

Plasmodium falciparum DDX17 is an RNA helicase crucial for parasite development

July 6, 2021 - 13:52 -- Open Access
Sourabh S, Chauhan M, Yasmin R, Shehzad S, Gupta D, Tuteja R
Biochem Biophys Rep. 2021 Apr 18;26:101000

Malaria is one of the major global health concerns still prevailing in this 21st century. Even the effect of artemisinin combination therapies (ACT) have declined and causing more mortality across the globe. Therefore, it is important to understand the basic biology of malaria parasite in order to find novel drug targets. Helicases play important role in nucleic acid metabolism and are components of cellular machinery in various organisms.

Anopheles coluzzii stearoyl-CoA desaturase is essential for adult female survival and reproduction upon blood feeding

May 25, 2021 - 14:08 -- Open Access
Ferdous Z, Fuchs S, Behrends V, Trasanidis N, Waterhouse RM, Vlachou D, Christophides GK
PLoS Pathog. 2021 May 20;17(5):e1009486

Vitellogenesis and oocyte maturation require anautogenous female Anopheles mosquitoes to obtain a bloodmeal from a vertebrate host. The bloodmeal is rich in proteins that are readily broken down into amino acids in the midgut lumen and absorbed by the midgut epithelial cells where they are converted into lipids and then transported to other tissues including ovaries.

Not Open Access | The RNA Structurome in the Asexual Blood Stages of Malaria Pathogen Plasmodium falciparum

May 12, 2021 - 09:32 -- NOT Open Access
Alvarez DR, Ospina A, Barwell T, Zheng B, Dey A, Li C, Basu S, Shi X, Kadri S, Chakrabarti K
RNA Biol. 2021 May 7

Plasmodium falciparum is a deadly human pathogen responsible for the devastating disease called malaria. In this study, we measured the differential accumulation of RNA secondary structures in coding and noncoding transcripts from the asexual developmental cycle in P. falciparum in human red blood cells. Our comprehensive analysis that combined high-throughput nuclease mapping of RNA structures by duplex RNA-seq, SHAPE-directed RNA structure validation, immunoaffinity purification and characterization of antisense RNAs collectively measured differentially base-paired RNA regions throughout the parasite's asexual RBC cycle. Our mapping data not only aligned to a diverse pool of RNAs with known structures but also enabled us to identify new structural RNA regions in the malaria genome.

A comprehensive RNA handling and transcriptomics guide for high-throughput processing of Plasmodium blood-stage samples

October 13, 2020 - 12:36 -- Open Access
Michal Kucharski, Jaishree Tripathi, Sourav Nayak, Lei Zhu, Grennady Wirjanata, Rob W. van der Pluijm, Mehul Dhorda, Arjen Dondorp and Zbynek Bozdech
Malaria Journal 2020 19:363, 9 October 2020

Sequencing technology advancements opened new opportunities to use transcriptomics for studying malaria pathology and epidemiology. Even though in recent years the study of whole parasite transcriptome proved to be essential in understanding parasite biology there is no compiled up-to-date reference protocol for the efficient generation of transcriptome data from growing number of samples. Here, a comprehensive methodology on how to preserve, extract, amplify, and sequence full-length mRNA transcripts from Plasmodium-infected blood samples is presented that can be fully streamlined for high-throughput studies.

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