Plasmodium falciparum

Plasmodium falciparum is the deadliest of five human malaria species and responsible for the majority of malaria related deaths. There are around 300 million clinical cases occur each year resulting in at least one million deaths annually, predominantly in sub-saharan Africa. An estimated 3,000 children, under the age of five, fall victim to malaria each day and around 40% of the worlds population are at risk of infection.

Data Downloads

The canonical reference P. falciparum clone 3D7 was first published by Gardner et al. in 2002. The nuclear genome was described as 22.9 Mb and essentially complete, with 14 chromosomes, a G+C content of approximately 19%, 5268 genes and approximately 80 gaps.

Genome improvement of P. falciparum 3D7

Since publication efforts have continued to improve both the sequence and annotation. The latest annotation is continually updated in GeneDB and used to periodically update PlasmoDB. A complete telomere-to-telomere sequence is in preparation that includes full assessment of accuracy using REAPR (Hunt et al). The current version (v3.0) has 5369 genes, some re-assembled regions of chromosomes 7, 8 and 13, comprehensive reannotation and no gaps. A publication describing the complete methodology and important changes is in preparation. Please refer to Data Use Statement.

Other P. falciparum sequencing projects

A draft sequence of P. falciparum IT clone was produced using Sanger sequencing (funded as a component of the BioMalPar Consortium, European Union 6th Framework Program, Contract number LSHP-LT-2004-503578) and more recently using Illumina Sequence-by-Synthesis. An annotation of the latest version can be accessed at GeneDB and is currently unpublished. Please refer to Data Use Statement.

Large-scale resequencing of global P. falciparum isolates is being undertaken as part of the Malaria Programme.


  • Sequence of Plasmodium falciparum chromosomes 1, 3-9 and 13.

    Hall N, Pain A, Berriman M, Churcher C, Harris B, Harris D, Mungall K, Bowman S, Atkin R, Baker S, Barron A, Brooks K, Buckee CO, Burrows C, Cherevach I, Chillingworth C, Chillingworth T, Christodoulou Z, Clark L, Clark R, Corton C, Cronin A, Davies R, Davis P, Dear P, Dearden F, Doggett J, Feltwell T, Goble A, Goodhead I, Gwilliam R, Hamlin N, Hance Z, Harper D, Hauser H, Hornsby T, Holroyd S, Horrocks P, Humphray S, Jagels K, James KD, Johnson D, Kerhornou A, Knights A, Konfortov B, Kyes S, Larke N, Lawson D, Lennard N, Line A, Maddison M, McLean J, Mooney P, Moule S, Murphy L, Oliver K, Ormond D, Price C, Quail MA, Rabbinowitsch E, Rajandream MA, Rutter S, Rutherford KM, Sanders M, Simmonds M, Seeger K, Sharp S, Smith R, Squares R, Squares S, Stevens K, Taylor K, Tivey A, Unwin L, Whitehead S, Woodward J, Sulston JE, Craig A, Newbold C and Barrell BG

    Nature 2002;419;6906;527-31

  • Genome sequence of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Gardner MJ, Hall N, Fung E, White O, Berriman M, Hyman RW, Carlton JM, Pain A, Nelson KE, Bowman S, Paulsen IT, James K, Eisen JA, Rutherford K, Salzberg SL, Craig A, Kyes S, Chan MS, Nene V, Shallom SJ, Suh B, Peterson J, Angiuoli S, Pertea M, Allen J, Selengut J, Haft D, Mather MW, Vaidya AB, Martin DM, Fairlamb AH, Fraunholz MJ, Roos DS, Ralph SA, McFadden GI, Cummings LM, Subramanian GM, Mungall C, Venter JC, Carucci DJ, Hoffman SL, Newbold C, Davis RW, Fraser CM and Barrell B

    Nature 2002;419;6906;498-511

  • The complete nucleotide sequence of chromosome 3 of Plasmodium falciparum.

    Bowman S, Lawson D, Basham D, Brown D, Chillingworth T, Churcher CM, Craig A, Davies RM, Devlin K, Feltwell T, Gentles S, Gwilliam R, Hamlin N, Harris D, Holroyd S, Hornsby T, Horrocks P, Jagels K, Jassal B, Kyes S, McLean J, Moule S, Mungall K, Murphy L, Oliver K, Quail MA, Rajandream MA, Rutter S, Skelton J, Squares R, Squares S, Sulston JE, Whitehead S, Woodward JR, Newbold C and Barrell BG

    Nature 1999;400;6744;532-8

Data Use Statement

This sequencing centre plans on publishing the completed and annotated sequences in a peer-reviewed journal as soon as possible. Permission of the principal investigator should be obtained before publishing analyses of the sequence/open reading frames/genes on a chromosome or genome scale. See our data sharing policy.

Sequencing enquiries

Please address all sequencing enquiries to: