P. berghei is one of the four malaria species that infect murine rodents from Central Africa that are infectious to laboratory rodents and easily maintained and transmitted by Anopheles stephensi in the laboratory. It serves as a good model for the human parasites with which it shares high homology in most essential aspects of structure, biochemistry and life cycle. Genome organisation is conserved between rodent and human parasites and the two share detailed synteny.
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.
An initial analysis of the partial genome at 3x coverage has been published: Hall et al. (2005) A comprehensive survey of the Plasmodium life cycle by genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic analyses. Science 307:82-86.
Whole genome shotgun sequencing has continued to high coverage. The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute plans on publishing the completed and annotated sequences of P. berghei ANKA 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. The first-pass annotation of the assembled sequence is now available.
» Plasmodium berghei on GeneDB