Genome scale screen finds many essential genes

We are delighted to announce the publication of the first genome scale screen in a malaria parasite in Cell. This paper is the culmination of many years of work by the PlasmoGEM team, led by Ellen Bushell, which started with building a large vector resource and required the development of a screening protocol for barcoded mutants. The main conclusion: Plasmodium berghei has more essential genes than any other organism studied to date. Great news for drug develpment! Could this be because Plasmodium is an intracellular parasite? Or because very few pathogen genomes have been screened in vivo? Read the paper to find out more, or get a summary here. We are grateful to a fantastic group of collaborating labs for contributing to the analysis: Rowena Martin, Geoff McFadden, Akhil Vaidya, Kai Wengelnik.