S Saeed1; C Lau2; A Z Tremp1; T Crompton2; J T Dessens1;
1 London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK; 2 UCL GOS Institute of Child Health, UK
DiscussionMalaria parasite oocysts generate sporozoites by a process termed sporogony. Essential for successful sporogony of Plasmodium berghei in Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes is a complex of six LCCL lectin domain adhesive-like proteins (LAPs). LAP null mutant oocysts undergo growth and mitosis but fail to form sporozoites. At a cytological level, LAP null mutant oocyst development is indistinguishable from its wildtype counterparts for the first week, supporting the hypothesis that LAP null mutant oocysts develop normally before cytokinesis. We show here that LAP1 null mutant oocysts display highly reduced expression of sporozoite proteins and their transcription factors. Our findings indicate that events leading up to the cytokinesis defect in LAP null mutants occur early in oocyst development.