Probing Plasmodium falciparum sexual commitment at the single-cell level

Brancucci, N. M.B. , De Niz, M., Straub, T. J., Ravel, D., Sollelis, L., Birren, B. W., Voss, T. S., Neafsey, D. E. and Marti, M. (2018) Probing Plasmodium falciparum sexual commitment at the single-cell level. Wellcome Open Research, 3, 70. (doi:10.12688/wellcomeopenres.14645.4) (PMID:30320226) (PMCID:PMC6143928)

Brancucci, N. M.B. , De Niz, M., Straub, T. J., Ravel, D., Sollelis, L., Birren, B. W., Voss, T. S., Neafsey, D. E. and Marti, M. (2018) Probing Plasmodium falciparum sexual commitment at the single-cell level. Wellcome Open Research, 3, 70. (doi:10.12688/wellcomeopenres.14645.4) (PMID:30320226) (PMCID:PMC6143928)

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Abstract

Background: Malaria parasites go through major transitions during their complex life cycle, yet the underlying differentiation pathways remain obscure. Here we apply single cell transcriptomics to unravel the program inducing sexual differentiation in Plasmodium falciparum. Parasites have to make this essential life-cycle decision in preparation for human-to-mosquito transmission. Methods: By combining transcriptional profiling with quantitative imaging and genetics, we defined a transcriptional signature in sexually committed cells. Results: We found this transcriptional signature to be distinct from general changes in parasite metabolism that can be observed in response to commitment-inducing conditions. Conclusions: This proof-of-concept study provides a template to capture transcriptional diversity in parasite populations containing complex mixtures of different life-cycle stages and developmental programs, with important implications for our understanding of parasite biology and the ongoing malaria elimination campaign.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Malaria, plasmodium falciparum, transmission, single cell, phenotyping, sexual differentiation, rnaseq
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sollelis, Miss Lauriane and Marti, Professor Matthias and De Niz, Dr Mariana and Brancucci, Dr Nicolas
Authors: Brancucci, N. M.B., De Niz, M., Straub, T. J., Ravel, D., Sollelis, L., Birren, B. W., Voss, T. S., Neafsey, D. E., and Marti, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Wellcome Open Research
Publisher:F1000 Research Limited
ISSN:2398-502X
ISSN (Online):1873-6416
Published Online:13 June 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Wellcome Open Research 3:70
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
371799The Wellcome Centre for Molecular Parasitology ( Core Support )Andrew WatersWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)104111/Z/14/Z & AIII - PARASITOLOGY