The Integral Plasmodium Life Cycle Phenomenon: Gametocyte Genes

Vineeta Singh and Amit Kumar

Gametocytes are the sexual stages of the Plasmodium species. The transmission of parasite relies on these gametocytes which are the crucial link in its life cycle. The biology of parasitic life cycle is complex with the invasion of host red blood cells (RBCs) by merozoites after the pre-erythrocytic invasion and followed with erythrocytic invasions and multiplications. This review examines the involvement of gametocyte-specific genes in gametocytogenesis. Here we look at the six gametocyte specific genes- Pfs16, Pfs25, Pfg27, Pfs48/45, Pfs230 and Pfg377; their developmental commitment, gene expression causing cellular and molecular changes in sexual differentiation. The in depth understanding of the gametocytogenesis in the transition from asexual to sexual differentiation could help to develop new strategies to curtail effectively the malaria transmission.