Carotenoids represent a diverse group of pigments derived from the common isoprenoid precursors and fulfill a variety of critical functions in plants and animals. Phytoene synthase (PSY), a transferase enzyme that catalyzes the first specific step in carotenoid biosynthesis plays a central role in the regulation of a number of essential functions mediated via carotenoids. PSYs have been deeply investigated in plants, bacteria and algae however in apicomplexans it is poorly studied. In an effort to characterize PSY in apicomplexans especially the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum), a detailed bioinformatics analysis is undertaken. We have analysed the Phylogenetic relationship of PSY also referred to as octaprenyl pyrophosphate synthase (OPPS) in P. falciparum with other taxonomic groups. Further, we in silico characterized the secondary and tertiary structures of P. falciparum PSY/OPPS and compared the tertiary structures with crystal structure of Thermotoga maritima (T. maritima) OPPS. Our results evidenced the resemblance of P. falciparum PSY with the active site of T. maritima OPPS. Interestingly, the comparative structural analysis revealed an unconserved unique loop in P. falciparum OPPS/PSY. Such structural insights might contribute novel accessory functions to the protein thus, offering potential drug targets. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.