A manually curated annotation characterises genomic features of P. falciparum lncRNAs

Johanna Hoshizaki, Sophie H. Adjalley, Vandana Thathy, Kim Judge, Matthew Berriman, Adam J. Reid, Marcus C. S. Lee (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Important regulation occurs at the level of transcription in Plasmodium falciparum and growing evidence suggests that these apicomplexan parasites have complex regulatory networks. Recent studies implicate long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) as transcriptional regulators in P. falciparum. However, due to limited research and the lack of necessary experimental tools, our understanding of their role in the malaria-causing parasite remains largely unelucidated. In this work, we address one of these limitations, the lack of an updated and improved lncRNA annotation in P. falciparum. Results: We generated long-read RNA sequencing data and integrated information extracted and curated from multiple sources to manually annotate lncRNAs. We identified 1119 novel lncRNAs and validated and refined 1250 existing annotations. Utilising the collated datasets, we generated evidence-based ranking scores for each annotation and characterised the distinct genomic contexts and features of P. falciparum lncRNAs. Certain features indicated subsets with potential biological significance such as 25 lncRNAs containing multiple introns, 335 lncRNAs lacking mutations in piggyBac mutagenic studies and lncRNAs associated with specific biologic processes including two new types of lncRNAs found proximal to var genes. Conclusions: The insights and the annotation presented in this study will serve as valuable tools for researchers seeking to understand the role of lncRNAs in parasite biology through both bioinformatics and experimental approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Article number780
Number of pages14
JournalBMC Genomics
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2022


  • Annotation
  • lncRNA
  • long-read RNA sequencing
  • Manual curation
  • Noncoding
  • Plasmodium falciparum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Genetics


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