Identification of the meiotic division of malarial parasites

J Protozool. 1985 Nov;32(4):742-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1550-7408.1985.tb03113.x.


Zygotes of Plasmodium berghei were cultured 15-25 h in vitro to yield mature infective ookinetes. Samples taken in the first 5 h of culture were examined by electron microscopy. Meiotic figures were detected in the nuclei of the zygotes. Threadlike leptotene chromatids (chromosomes) condensed from attachment plaques on the nuclear envelope; chromatid pairing followed (zygotene), with synaptonemal complexes subsequently appearing (pachytene). These complexes persisted into metaphase but dissociated when the chromatids rapidly decondensed during anaphase. At telophase of the first meiotic division the kinetochores were retracted toward two small spindle complexes, which were found at widely separated poles in the nuclear envelope. The observations are consistent with a haploid genome of 8-10 chromosomes.

MeSH terms

  • Anaphase
  • Animals
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Nucleus / ultrastructure
  • Chromosomes / ultrastructure
  • Metaphase
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Plasmodium berghei / cytology*
  • Plasmodium berghei / genetics
  • Plasmodium berghei / ultrastructure
  • Synaptonemal Complex
  • Telophase