Two different actin transcripts are found in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. One of these is a 2.5-kb-long RNA found both in asexual blood stages and in the sexual stages (i.e., gametes/zygotes) of the parasite. This transcript is encoded by the P. falciparum (pf)-actin I gene. The second malarial actin gene, the pf-actin II gene, yields a 1.9-kb-long transcript which is formed solely in the sexual stages. Elucidation of the genomic organisation of these two Plasmodium actin genes showed that the pf-actin I gene does not possess any introns whereas the coding region of the pf-actin II gene is interrupted by a 368-bp intron. This intron has consensus splice junction sequences. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the 3' non-coding regions of the pf-actin genes revealed that these regions are quite long (pf-actin I, 250 bp; pf-actin II, 331 bp) and that these trailers do not share sequence similarity. Furthermore, the poly(A)+ addition sites of both actin mRNAs have now been identified. The 5' untranslated regions are also rather long; the sequenced areas lack sequence similarity and have, as do the 3' untranslated regions, a very high A + T content.