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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Analysis of the Aedes albopictus C6/36 genome provides insight into cell line utility for viral propagation.

The 50-year-old Aedes albopictus C6/36 cell line is a resource for the detection, amplification, and analysis of mosquito-borne viruses including Zika, dengue, and chikungunya. The cell line is derived from an unknown number of larvae from an unspecified strain of Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. Toward improved utility of the cell line for research in virus transmission, we present an annotated assembly of the C6/36 genome.The C6/36 genome assembly has the largest contig N50 (3.3 Mbp) of any mosquito assembly, presents the sequences of both haplotypes for most of the diploid genome, reveals independent null mutations in both alleles of the Dicer…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Antiviral adaptive immunity and tolerance in the mosquito Aedes aegyti

Mosquitoes spread pathogenic arboviruses while themselves tolerate infection. We here characterize an immunity pathway providing long-term antiviral protection and define how this pathway discriminates between self and non-self. Mosquitoes use viral RNAs to create viral derived cDNAs (vDNAs) central to the antiviral response. vDNA molecules are acquired through a process of reverse-transcription and recombination directed by endogenous retrotransposons. These vDNAs are thought to integrate in the host genome as endogenous viral elements (EVEs). Sequencing of pre-integrated vDNA revealed that the acquisition process exquisitely distinguishes viral from host RNA, providing one layer of self-nonself discrimination. Importantly, we show EVE-derived piRNAs have…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The sequence of a male-specific genome region containing the sex determination switch in Aedes aegypti.

Aedes aegypti is the principal vector of several important arboviruses. Among the methods of vector control to limit transmission of disease are genetic strategies that involve the release of sterile or genetically modified non-biting males, which has generated interest in manipulating mosquito sex ratios. Sex determination in Ae. aegypti is controlled by a non-recombining Y chromosome-like region called the M locus, yet characterisation of this locus has been thwarted by the repetitive nature of the genome. In 2015, an M locus gene named Nix was identified that displays the qualities of a sex determination switch.With the use of a whole-genome…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Differing patterns of selection and geospatial genetic diversity within two leading Plasmodium vivax candidate vaccine antigens.

Although Plasmodium vivax is a leading cause of malaria around the world, only a handful of vivax antigens are being studied for vaccine development. Here, we investigated genetic signatures of selection and geospatial genetic diversity of two leading vivax vaccine antigens–Plasmodium vivax merozoite surface protein 1 (pvmsp-1) and Plasmodium vivax circumsporozoite protein (pvcsp). Using scalable next-generation sequencing, we deep-sequenced amplicons of the 42 kDa region of pvmsp-1 (n?=?44) and the complete gene of pvcsp (n?=?47) from Cambodian isolates. These sequences were then compared with global parasite populations obtained from GenBank. Using a combination of statistical and phylogenetic methods to assess…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Evolution of mosquito preference for humans linked to an odorant receptor.

Female mosquitoes are major vectors of human disease and the most dangerous are those that preferentially bite humans. A ‘domestic’ form of the mosquito Aedes aegypti has evolved to specialize in biting humans and is the main worldwide vector of dengue, yellow fever, and chikungunya viruses. The domestic form coexists with an ancestral, ‘forest’ form that prefers to bite non-human animals and is found along the coast of Kenya. We collected the two forms, established laboratory colonies, and document striking divergence in preference for human versus non-human animal odour. We further show that the evolution of preference for human odour…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Comparative genome analysis of Wolbachia strain wAu

BACKGROUND:Wolbachia intracellular bacteria can manipulate the reproduction of their arthropod hosts, including inducing sterility between populations known as cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI). Certain strains have been identified that are unable to induce or rescue CI, including wAu from Drosophila. Genome sequencing and comparison with CI-inducing related strain wMel was undertaken in order to better understand the molecular basis of the phenotype.RESULTS:Although the genomes were broadly similar, several rearrangements were identified, particularly in the prophage regions. Many orthologous genes contained single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) between the two strains, but a subset containing major differences that would likely cause inactivation in wAu were…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Radical remodeling of the Y chromosome in a recent radiation of malaria mosquitoes.

Y chromosomes control essential male functions in many species, including sex determination and fertility. However, because of obstacles posed by repeat-rich heterochromatin, knowledge of Y chromosome sequences is limited to a handful of model organisms, constraining our understanding of Y biology across the tree of life. Here, we leverage long single-molecule sequencing to determine the content and structure of the nonrecombining Y chromosome of the primary African malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. We find that the An. gambiae Y consists almost entirely of a few massively amplified, tandemly arrayed repeats, some of which can recombine with similar repeats on the X…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

The diversity, structure, and function of heritable adaptive immunity sequences in the Aedes aegypti genome.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito transmits arboviruses, including dengue, chikungunya, and Zika virus. Understanding the mechanisms underlying mosquito immunity could provide new tools to control arbovirus spread. Insects exploit two different RNAi pathways to combat viral and transposon infection: short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) [1, 2]. Endogenous viral elements (EVEs) are sequences from non-retroviral viruses that are inserted into the mosquito genome and can act as templates for the production of piRNAs [3, 4]. EVEs therefore represent a record of past infections and a reservoir of potential immune memory [5]. The large-scale organization of EVEs has been difficult…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Improved reference genome of Aedes aegypti informs arbovirus vector control.

Female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes infect more than 400 million people each year with dangerous viral pathogens including dengue, yellow fever, Zika and chikungunya. Progress in understanding the biology of mosquitoes and developing the tools to fight them has been slowed by the lack of a high-quality genome assembly. Here we combine diverse technologies to produce the markedly improved, fully re-annotated AaegL5 genome assembly, and demonstrate how it accelerates mosquito science. We anchored physical and cytogenetic maps, doubled the number of known chemosensory ionotropic receptors that guide mosquitoes to human hosts and egg-laying sites, provided further insight into the size and composition…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Site-specific genetic engineering of the Anopheles gambiae Y chromosome.

Despite its function in sex determination and its role in driving genome evolution, the Y chromosome remains poorly understood in most species. Y chromosomes are gene-poor, repeat-rich and largely heterochromatic and therefore represent a difficult target for genetic engineering. The Y chromosome of the human malaria vector Anopheles gambiae appears to be involved in sex determination although very little is known about both its structure and function. Here, we characterize a transgenic strain of this mosquito species, obtained by transposon-mediated integration of a transgene construct onto the Y chromosome. Using meganuclease-induced homologous repair we introduce a site-specific recombination signal onto…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Insights into the preservation of the homomorphic sex-determining chromosome of Aedes aegypti from the discovery of a male-biased gene tightly linked to the M-locus.

The preservation of a homomorphic sex-determining chromosome in some organisms without transformation into a heteromorphic sex chromosome is a long-standing enigma in evolutionary biology. A dominant sex-determining locus (or M-locus) in an undifferentiated homomorphic chromosome confers the male phenotype in the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti. Genetic evidence suggests that the M-locus is in a nonrecombining region. However, the molecular nature of the M-locus has not been characterized. Using a recently developed approach based on Illumina sequencing of male and female genomic DNA, we identified a novel gene, myo-sex, that is present almost exclusively in the male genome but can…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Genome analysis of a major urban malaria vector mosquito, Anopheles stephensi.

Background Anopheles stephensi is the key vector of malaria throughout the Indian subcontinent and Middle East and an emerging model for molecular and genetic studies of mosquito-parasite interactions. The type form of the species is responsible for the majority of urban malaria transmission across its range.ResultsHere, we report the genome sequence and annotation of the Indian strain of the type form of An. stephensi. The 221 Mb genome assembly represents more than 92% of the entire genome and was produced using a combination of 454, Illumina, and PacBio sequencing. Physical mapping assigned 62% of the genome onto chromosomes, enabling chromosome-based…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Comparative genomics of extrachromosomal elements in Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis.

Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis is one of the most important microorganisms used against mosquitoes. It was intensively studied following its discovery and became a model bacterium of the B. thuringiensis species. Those studies focused on toxin genes, aggregation-associated conjugation, linear genome phages, etc. Recent announcements of genomic sequences of different strains have not been explicitly related to the biological properties studied. We report data on plasmid content analysis of four strains using ultra-high-throughput sequencing. The strains were commercial product isolates, with their putative ancestor and type B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis strain sequenced earlier. The assembled contigs corresponding to published and…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Genomic dark matter illuminated: Anopheles Y chromosomes.

Hall et al. have strategically used long-read sequencing technology to characterize the structure and highly repetitive content of the Y chromosome in Anopheles malaria mosquitoes. Their work confirms that this important but elusive heterochromatic sex chromosome is evolving extremely rapidly and harbors a remarkably small number of genes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Complete genome sequence of Lysinibacillus sphaericus WHO reference strain 2362.

Lysinibacillus sphaericus is a species that contains strains widely used in the biological control of mosquitoes. Here, we present the complete 4.67-Mb genome of the WHO entomopathogenic reference strain L. sphaericus 2362, which is probably one of the most commercialized and studied strains. Genes coding for mosquitocidal toxin proteins were detected. Copyright © 2016 Hernández-Santana et al.

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