1. Factors regulating number of progeny (merozoites)
Throughout its life cycle the parasites undergoes multiple phases of extensive mitotic proliferation. The number of emerging daughter cells is, however, highly variable. We try to find factors implicated in the regulation of daughter cell counting during the blood stage of P. falciparum using QTL analysis.
2. Centriolar plaque dynamics, structure and composition
Centrosomes are master regulators of cell division. The plasmodial centrosome, called centriolar plaque, has a distinct structure that has not been well characterized. We use live cell imaging, nanoscopy, and proximity-labeling proteomics to define the atypical features of the centriolar plaque and the microtubules surrounding it.
In a closed mitosis nuclei must undergo nuclear envelope fission after chromosome segregation is completed. The mechanism of karyofission is completely elusive (in any organism) and ultrastructural data of this event is missing. We want to describe and functionally analyze this event that is essential to successful completion of cell division.