Total lipid extracts of Plasmodium lophurae and P. berghei were separated into lipid classes by thin-layer chromatography (TLC). Phospholipids, free fatty acids, triglycerides, and sterol esters were scraped from TLC plates, transmethylated, and the component fatty acids of each fraction were separated by gas-liquid chromatography.
P. berghei generally has ratios of saturated to unsaturated acids similar to or higher than P. lophurae. This fact and the results obtained from analyses of the sterol ester fractions may be due to uptake of host lipids.
A total of 27 fatty acids were observed in the various fractions assayed from the two organisms. Both organisms have large percentages of the fatty acids accounted for by the groups with carbon chain lengths of 16 and 18 in all fractions except the sterol esters. Fatty acids with longer carbon chain lengths predominate this fraction.
Present address: Department of Microbiology, Northwestern State College of Louisiana, Natchitoches, Louisiana 71457.