We have determined the nucleotide sequence of the gene encoding the ring-infected erythrocyte surface antigen (RESA) of Plasmodium falciparum, an antigen that has been shown to confer protective immunity on monkeys. The sequence has enabled us to predict the structure of the RESA gene and the amino acid sequence of its protein product. The gene consists of two exons with a short intron located near the 5' end of the coding region. A hydrophobic amino acid segment predicted for the 3' end of exon 1 is consistent with the possibility that exon 1 encodes trafficking signal sequences. We show that restriction fragment length polymorphisms can be used to define two different alleles of RESA, represented by isolates FC27 and NF7, and compare the FC27 sequence with that of a long cDNA clone from NF7 described previously.