Analysis of Plasmodium falciparum chromosome 3, and comparison with chromosome 2, highlights novel features of chromosome organization and gene structure. The sub-telomeric regions of chromosome 3 show a conserved order of features, including repetitive DNA sequences, members of multigene families involved in pathogenesis and antigenic variation, a number of conserved pseudogenes, and several genes of unknown function. A putative centromere has been identified that has a core region of about 2 kilobases with an extremely high (adenine + thymidine) composition and arrays of tandem repeats. We have predicted 215 protein-coding genes and two transfer RNA genes in the 1,060,106-base-pair chromosome sequence. The predicted protein-coding genes can be divided into three main classes: 52.6% are not spliced, 45.1% have a large exon with short additional 5' or 3' exons, and 2.3% have a multiple exon structure more typical of higher eukaryotes.