CRISPR/Cas9 Gene Editing to Make Conditional Mutants of Human Malaria Parasite P. Falciparum

This article has been accepted and is currently in production

Abstract

Malaria is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. This disease, which primarily affects those living in tropical and subtropical regions, is caused by infection with Plasmodium parasites. The development of more effective drugs to combat malaria can be accelerated by improving our understanding of the biology of this complex parasite. Genetic manipulation of these parasites is key to understanding their biology; however, historically the genome of P. falciparum has been difficult to manipulate. Recently, CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing has been utilized in malaria parasites, allowing for easier protein tagging, generation of conditional protein knockdowns, and deletion of genes. CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing has proven to be a powerful tool for advancing the field of malaria research. Here, we describe a CRISPR/Cas9 method for generating glmS-based conditional knockdown mutants in P. falciparum. This method is highly adaptable to other types of genetic manipulations, including protein tagging and gene knockouts.