P. berghei is a murine malaria species, originally isolated from thicket rats in Central Africa. The species is one of four common murine model but its relative ease of transfection has made it a particularly popular model for reverse genetics. Although the ‘core’ genome shares large block of synteny with human malaria parasites, there are several well-characterised breaks in synteny and the gene organisation in the subtelomeres is substantially different.
An initial analysis of a low-coverage (3x) draft genome produced by Sanger-sequencing was published by Hall et al. in 2005. From these data, P. berghei has an estimated genome size of 18-20 Mb, with 14 chromosomes in the size range of 0.6 Mb to 3.8 Mb. DNA for this sequencing project was obtained from asynchronous bloodstages of clone 15cy1 of the ANKA strain of P. berghei.
Further sequencing of P. berghei ANKA and several other strains has been completed using Illumina Sequence-by-synthesis technology. The re-assembly and annotation has been published (PMID:25359557).
A comprehensive evaluation of rodent malaria parasite genomes and gene expression.
BMC biology 2014;12;86
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