Volume 49, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



The environment of gametocytes changes when they make the transition from the vertebrate to the invertebrate host. Gametocytes of this species cultivated in vitro were used to evaluate the effect of serum, pH, pCO tension, bicarbonate ion, and temperature on gamete formation. Temperature was the only factor responsible for keeping gametocytes in the inactivated state. Mature gametocytes held at temperatures above 30°C remained quiescent in 10% serum, even at low ambient pCO tension, alkaline pH, and in the presence of 25 mM bicarbonate ion. When the temperature of the medium was allowed to drop below 30°C, gametocytes emerged from the red blood cells and microgametocytes consistently exflagellated at pH 7.4, even in the absence of bicarbonate ion. With regard to bicarbonate ion, exflagellation in is similar to and different from gametocytes, which have an obligate requirement for bicarbonate ion.


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