Conserved location of genes on polymorphic chromosomes of four species of malaria parasites

Chris J. Janse, Jane M R Carlton, David Walliker, Andrew P. Waters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The number of chromosomes and the chromosomal location and linkage of more than 50 probes, mainly of genes, have been established in four species of Plasmodium which infect African murine rodents. We expected that the location and linkage of genes would not be conserved between these species of malaria parasites since extensive inter- and intraspecific size differences of the chromosomes existed and large scale internal rearrangements and chromosome translocations in parasites from laboratory lines had been reported. Our study showed that all four species contained 14 chromosomes, ranging in size between 0.5 and 3.5 Mb, which showed extensive size polymorphisms. The location and linkage of the genes on the polymorphic chromosomes, however, was conserved and nearly identical between these species. These results indicate that size polymorphisms of the chromosomes are more likely due to variation in non-coding (subtelomeric, repeat) sequences and show that a high plasticity of internal regions of chromosomes that may exist does not frequently affect chromosomal location and linkage of genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-296
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1994


  • Chromosome
  • Gene location
  • Malaria parasite
  • Polymorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Molecular Biology


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