The development of Plasmodium ookinetes in vitro: an ultrastructural study including a description of meiotic division

Parasitology. 1985 Oct;91 ( Pt 2):227-44. doi: 10.1017/s0031182000057334.


Ookinetes have been cultured in vitro using modifications to the method of Weiss & Vanderberg (1977). Significant improvements in technique were produced by culture in medium at pH 8.4 and at a blood dilution at or over 1/10. Ookinetes produced were infective to mosquitoes by membrane feeding techniques. Ultrastructural analyses were made of nuclear, cytoskeletal, crystalloid and microneme development. The first intranuclear division in the zygote has been recognized as meiosis. Chromosome condensation during prophase follows the classical stages of leptotene, zygotene and pachytene. Diplotene and diakinesis are not present - the synaptonemal complexes persist into metaphase I. Chromosomes separate at anaphase and rapidly de-condense prior to telophase. We have not recognized a second meiotic division in the ookinete. The implication of these findings to the molecular and Mendelian organization of the parasite genome are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Nucleus / ultrastructure
  • Cytoskeleton / ultrastructure
  • Female
  • Meiosis
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Morphogenesis
  • Oocytes / cytology
  • Oocytes / ultrastructure*
  • Plasmodium berghei / cytology*