Geoffrey I. McFadden

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The parasite Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for hundreds of millions of cases of malaria, and kills more than one million African children annually. Here we report an analysis of the genome sequence of P. falciparum clone 3D7. The 23-megabase nuclear genome consists of 14 chromosomes, encodes about 5,300 genes, and is the most (A + T)-rich genome(More)
A vestigial, nonphotosynthetic plastid has been identified recently in protozoan parasites of the phylum Apicomplexa. The apicomplexan plastid, or "apicoplast," is indispensable, but the complete sequence of both the Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii apicoplast genomes has offered no clue as to what essential metabolic function(s) this organelle(More)
The plastid of Plasmodium falciparum (or 'apicoplast') is the evolutionary homolog of the plant chloroplast and represents a vestige of a photosynthetic past. Apicoplast indispensability indicates that it still provides essential functions to parasites. Similar to plant chloroplasts, the apicoplast is dependent on many nucleus-encoded genes to provide these(More)
The apicoplast and mitochondrion of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum are important intracellular organelles and targets of several anti-malarial drugs. In recent years, our group and others have begun to piece together the metabolic pathways of these organelles, with a view to understanding their functions and identifying further anti-malarial(More)
The ancestors of modern cyanobacteria invented O(2)-generating photosynthesis some 3.6 billion years ago. The conversion of water and CO(2) into energy-rich sugars and O(2) slowly transformed the planet, eventually creating the biosphere as we know it today. Eukaryotes didn't invent photosynthesis; they co-opted it from prokaryotes by engulfing and stably(More)
The introduction of plastids into different heterotrophic protists created lineages of algae that diversified explosively, proliferated in marine and freshwater environments, and radically altered the biosphere. The origins of these secondary plastids are usually inferred from the presence of additional plastid membranes. However, two examples provide(More)
The members of the phylum Apicomplexa parasitize a wide range of eukaryotic host cells. Plasmodium falciparum, responsible for the most virulent form of malaria, invades human erythrocytes using several specific and high affinity ligand-receptor interactions that define invasion pathways. We find that members of the P. falciparum reticulocyte-binding(More)
Three alleles of the self-incompatibility gene of Nicotiana alata have been cloned and sequenced. A comparison of the sequences shows a surprisingly low level of homology (56%) and the presence of defined regions of homology and variability. The homologous regions include the N-terminal sequence, most of the cysteine residues and glycosylation sites, as(More)
After invading human erythrocytes, the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum, initiates a remarkable process of secreting proteins into the surrounding erythrocyte cytoplasm and plasma membrane. One of these exported proteins, the knob-associated histidine-rich protein (KAHRP), is essential for microvascular sequestration, a strategy whereby infected red(More)
The malaria causing protozoan Plasmodium falciparum contains a vestigal, non-photosynthetic plastid, the apicoplast. Numerous proteins encoded by nuclear genes are targeted to the apicoplast courtesy of N-terminal extensions. With the impending sequence completion of an entire genome of the malaria parasite, it is important to have software tools in place(More)