A library of cDNA clones expressing antigens of the asexual blood-stages of Plasmodium falciparum (isolate FCQ27/PNG) was constructed in the bacteriophage vector gamma gt11-Amp3. Clones expressing P. falciparum antigens (as polypeptides fused to beta-galactosidase) were selected by their reactivity in an in situ colony immunoassay with affinity-purified malaria antibodies. A detailed analysis of 78 antigen-positive clones selected from approximately 10,000 recombinant clones has shown them to correspond to many different parasite antigens. cDNA hybridization studies on this array of 78 antigen-positive clones have so far identified 18 families of sibling clones with 22 clones as yet unassigned, the majority of which may represent additional unique sequences. Only about 20% of the clones synthesized abundant amounts of the malaria antigen/beta-galactosidase fused polypeptide but each multi-member family except one was represented by at least one clone producing a fused polypeptide in abundance. Antisera have been raised against cloned malaria antigens by immunizing mice and rabbits with bacterial lysates and purified fused polypeptides, respectively. These antisera have been used to characterize the antigens in P. falciparum that correspond to the various antigen-positive clones. The variety of distinct antigens recognized by these antisera confirms that the clone library contains coding sequences for many different antigens.