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The malaria parasite life cycle alternates between two hosts: a vertebrate and the female Anopheles mosquito vector. Cell division, proliferation, and invasion are essential for parasite development, transmission, and survival. Most research has focused on Plasmodium development in the vertebrate, which causes disease; however, knowledge of malaria parasite development in the mosquito (the sexual and transmission stages) is now rapidly accumulating, gathered largely through investigation of the rodent malaria model, with Plasmodium berghei. In this review, we discuss the seminal genome-wide screens that have uncovered key regulators of cell proliferation, invasion, and transmission during Plasmodium sexual development. Our focus is on the roles of transcription factors, reversible protein phosphorylation, and molecular motors. We also emphasize the still-unanswered important questions around key pathways in cell division during the vector transmission stages and how they may be targeted in future studies. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Microbiology, Volume 76 is September 2022. Please see for revised estimates.

Original publication




Journal article


Annu Rev Microbiol

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