The roles of temperature, pH and mosquito factors as triggers of male and female gametogenesis of Plasmodium berghei in vitro

Parasitology. 1997 Jul;115 ( Pt 1):1-7. doi: 10.1017/s0031182097008895.


Developmentally arrested malarial gametocytes undergo gamete formation in the mosquito midgut immediately after ingestion of the infected bloodmeal. In the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei male gametogenesis (exflagellation) can be induced in vitro by a temperature decrease (from 39 degrees C in the vertebrate host to 20 degrees C) and a concomitant pH increase (from 7.3 in mouse blood to 8.0). We report the presence of additional Gametocyte Activating Factor(s) (GAF) present in Anopheles stephensi tissue extracts, which induce both male and female gametogenesis at the otherwise nonpermissive pH of 7.3 in vitro but are unable to overcome the low temperature requirement. All constituent cellular events of microgametogeneis studied here are induced by the same triggers in vitro. A temperature decrease is also required for exflagellation in the mosquito midgut. The possible role of GAF as a second obligatory natural trigger of gametogenesis is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anopheles / chemistry*
  • Anopheles / parasitology
  • Culture Media
  • Female
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Plasmodium berghei / growth & development*
  • Plasmodium berghei / ultrastructure
  • Temperature
  • Tissue Extracts / pharmacology*


  • Culture Media
  • Tissue Extracts