The meiotic recombination 11 protein (MRE11) plays a key role in DNA damage response and maintenance of genome stability. However, little is known about its function during development of the malaria parasite Plasmodium.
The worldwide genus Anopheles Meigen, 1918 is the only genus containing species evolved as vectors of human and simian malaria. Morbidity and mortality caused by Plasmodium Marchiafava & Celli, 1885 is tremendous, which has made these parasites and their vectors the objects of intense research aimed at mosquito identification, malaria control and elimination. DNA tools make the identification of Anopheles species both easier and more difficult. Easier in that putative species can nearly always be separated based on DNA data; more difficult in that attaching a scientific name to a species is often problematic because morphological characters are often difficult to interpret or even see; and DNA technology might not be available and affordable. Added to this are the many species that are either not yet recognized or are similar to, or identical with, named species. The first step in solving Anopheles identification problem is to attach a morphology-based formal or informal name to a specimen. These names are hypotheses to be tested with further morphological observations and/or DNA evidence. The overarching objective is to be able to communicate about a given species under study. In South America, morphological identification which is the first step in the above process is often difficult because of lack of taxonomic expertise and/or inadequate identification keys, written for local fauna, containing the most consequential species, or obviously, do not include species described subsequent to key publication.
One of the major barrier in the prevention & control of malaria programs worldwide is the growing emergence of multidrug-resistance in Plasmodium parasite and demands continued efforts to discover & develop effective drug molecules targeting novel proteins essential for parasite survival. In recent years, epigenetic regulators have evolved as an attractive drug target option owing to their crucial role in survival and development of Plasmodium at different stages of its life cycle.
Plasmodium species feature only four to eight nuclear ribosomal units on different chromosomes, which are assumed to evolve independently according to a birth-and-death model, in which new variants originate by duplication and others are deleted throughout time. Moreover, distinct ribosomal units were shown to be expressed during different developmental stages in the vertebrate and mosquito hosts. Here, the 18S rDNA sequences of 32 species of avian haemosporidian parasites are reported and compared to those of simian and rodent Plasmodium species.