Dimorphism in genes encoding sexual-stage proteins of Plasmodium ovale curtisi and Plasmodium ovale wallikeri.


Oguike, MC; Sutherland, CJ; (2015) Dimorphism in genes encoding sexual-stage proteins of Plasmodium ovale curtisi and Plasmodium ovale wallikeri. International journal for parasitology, 45 (7). pp. 449-54. ISSN 0020-7519 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpara.2015.02.004

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Abstract

: Plasmodium ovale curtisi and Plasmodium ovale wallikeri are distinct species of malaria parasite which are sympatric throughout the tropics, except for the Americas. Despite this complete overlap in geographic range, these two species do not recombine. Although morphologically very similar, the two taxa must possess distinct characters which prevent recombination between them. We hypothesised that proteins required for sexual reproduction have sufficiently diverged between the two species to prevent recombination in any mosquito blood meal in which gametocytes of both species are ingested. In order to investigate possible barriers to inter-species mating between P. ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri, homologues of genes encoding sexual stage proteins in other plasmodia were identified and compared between the two species. Database searches with motifs for 6-cysteine, Limulus Coagulation factor C domain-containing proteins and other relevant sexual stage proteins in the genus Plasmodium were performed in the available P. ovale curtisi partial genome database (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK). Sequence fragments obtained were used as the basis for PCR walking along each gene of interest in reference isolates of both P. ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri. Sequence alignment of the homologues of each gene in each species showed complete dimorphism across all isolates. In conclusion, substantial divergence between sexual stage proteins in the two P. ovale spp. was observed, providing further evidence that these do not recombine in nature. Incompatibility of proteins involved in sexual development and fertilisation thus remains a plausible explanation for the observed lack of natural recombination between P. ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri.<br/>

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Immunology and Infection
Research Centre: Malaria Centre
PubMed ID: 25817462
Web of Science ID: 355034600002
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/2137828

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