Uniparental inheritance of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome b in Plasmodium falciparum

Curr Genet. 1993;23(4):360-4. doi: 10.1007/BF00310900.


The inheritance of an extrachromosomal 6-kb element has been examined in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. A single base pair difference in the cytochrome b gene from the 6-kb element of two different cloned lines of the parasite was identified, and used as a marker in a cross in the mosquito stage of the life cycle. Analysis of 59 individual hybrid oocysts resulting from this cross clearly demonstrated that inheritance of the cytochrome b gene was uniparental. This observation makes it possible to investigate the inheritance and evolution of cytoplasmic traits, including certain forms of drug resistance, in natural populations of this parasite.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cytochrome b Group / genetics*
  • DNA, Single-Stranded
  • Genes, Protozoan
  • Genetic Variation
  • Mitochondria / enzymology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plasmodium falciparum / enzymology
  • Plasmodium falciparum / genetics*


  • Cytochrome b Group
  • DNA, Single-Stranded