Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Malaria is a parasitic disease that causes over a million deaths worldwide each year. Understanding development through the parasite's life cycle is necessary to stop disease transmission. As the genetic basis for the crucial transition from the erythrocytic asexual cycle to gametocytogenesis is unknown, we hope to better understand this transition by studying sexual stage genes and their roles in gametocytogenesis. PFL2550w and PFF0750w are genes upregulated during gametocytogenesis that were identified by a whole-genome microarray comparing gene expression between gametocyte-producing and gametocyte-deficient strains. In this study, PFL2550w was shown to be a soluble protein that is exported from the parasite and localized to the host erythrocyte in early stage gametocytes. Interactions between PFL2550w and other malaria proteins in the erythrocyte suggest a role in trafficking proteins to the RBC membrane. In contrast, there is no expression of PFF0750w protein until the parasite completes gametocytogenesis and becomes a gamete.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.