Formation and function of the crystalloid, a unique parasite organelle essential for malaria transmission - ITSMED seminar
  • Upper Lecture Theatre, Sherwell Centre

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26 April 2017: Formation and function of the crystalloid, a unique parasite organelle essential for malaria transmission

  • Dr Johannes Dessens, LSHTM, London.

A focus of our malaria research programme over the last decade has been on a unique Plasmodium organelle named the crystalloid. First described in 1962, crystalloids are transient subcellular structures that are implicated in malaria transmission by virtue of their exclusive presence in ookinetes and young oocysts. Crystalloids are conserved in human, monkey, rodent and bird malaria species, and they appear in electron microscopy (EM) as clusters of small spherical subunits. These subunits are individually bound by a lipid bilayer and constitute small vesicles. Experimental evidence regarding the origins and functions of the crystalloids has long remained elusive, but in recent years our studies have provided evidence of a temporal, spatial and functional link between the crystalloids and a Plasmodium family of gametocyte-expressed LCCL-lectin adhesive like proteins (LAPs) that are essential for sporozoite transmission. This has raised new interest in this intriguing parasite organelle both from a cell biological perspective, and as a potential target for malaria transmission control strategies. 


This seminar is arranged by the
Institute of Translational and Stratified Medicine, within the Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry.

The audience for the ITSMED seminar includes a mix of academic staff (clinical and scientific), post-doctoral fellows, postgraduate students and occasionally undergraduate students. Speakers are invited to talk for approximately 40 minutes followed by an opportunity for questions at the end.


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