The completion of the genome sequence for Plasmodium falciparum, the species responsible for most malaria human deaths, has the potential to reveal hundreds of new drug targets and proteins involved in pathogenesis. However, only approximately 35% of the genes code for proteins with an identifiable function. The absence of routine genetic tools for studying Plasmodium parasites suggests that this number is unlikely to change quickly if conventional serial methods are used to characterize encoded proteins. Here, we use a high-density oligonucleotide array to generate expression profiles of human and mosquito stages of the malaria parasite's life cycle. Genes with highly correlated levels and temporal patterns of expression were often involved in similar functions or cellular processes.
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