Navigation Links
LSTM Researchers demonstrate adaptive potential of hybridization in mosquito species

Researchers from LSTM have exploited a natural experiment created by insecticidal pressure to determine how the most important malaria vectors - A. gambiae s.s. and A. coluzzii respond rapidly to environmental change.

Working with genome analysis specialists from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and field entomologists in Ghana, LSTM researchers sequenced the genomes of individual wild mosquitoes of each species from southern Ghana. The results, published in Nature Communications, reveal that transfer of a major insecticide resistance mutation (kdr) resulted in replacement of over 3 million surrounding DNA bases (1.5% of the genome) of A. coluzzii, with that of A. gambiae s.s. This is especially significant because the two species are very closely related and the region replaced is one of relatively few areas of their genomes that are substantially different. Surprisingly, this apparently huge genomic disruption has had no detectable impact on reproductive isolation with hybridisation rates between the species in Ghana remaining low and stable despite a dramatic rise in frequency of the kdr mutation in A. coluzzii.

Dr David Weetman, co-first author and LSTM Lecturer in Population Genomics, said: "Our work demonstrates amazing flexibility in the genomes of closely related species. The genomic section replaced is not only huge but was previously considered a major 'speciation island'; a probable location for genes driving reproductive isolation between the species. The findings not only call into question the general importance of 'speciation islands', but also importantly show that these closely-related mosquito species, can evolve largely separately but then interchange genetic variation to allow rapid adaptation to human-driven environmental changes.".

The two species, which co-occur throughout much of West and Central Africa, exhibit behavioural and ecological differences. Anopheles coluzzii is thought to be able to exploit relatively stable agricultural breeding sites, which can extend malaria transmission far into the dry season. A. gambiae s.s. has traditionally been the more insecticide resistant, but, with transfer of insecticide resistance mutations, this is changing. In addition to concerns for vector control, this presented a near-unique opportunity to investigate the popular theory that new species form through the development of pockets of divergence in the genome containing speciation genes. Driven by technological advances and early work on the Anopheles gambiae species pair, this has become a rapidly-growing area of research in evolutionary biology.

LSTM's Professor Martin Donnelly, senior author of the study, said: "Through our collaboration with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute we are learning how to use Anopheles genomic information to address questions of immense evolutionary and public health importance. This paper is just a foretaste of the studies that the vector community will be able to perform as the Anopheles gambiae 1000 Genome data sets become available (see"

"This is a wonderful example of how new technologies for genome sequence analysis can elucidate specific biological questions in the field," says Professor Dominic Kwiatkowski, Head of the Malaria Programme at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, whose team have worked closely with LSTM on this project.


Contact: Clare Bebb
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Related biology news :

1. CU-Boulder, NCAR researchers seek to reduce deadly air pollution from cooking emissions
2. BUSM researchers investigating ways to improve type 2 diabetes treatments
3. Researchers discover new genes that promote brain cancer
4. Researchers identify mitochondrial mutation linked to congenital myasthenic syndrome
5. Researchers develop genetic control mechanism for major livestock pest
6. Portable brain-mapping device allows UT Arlington researchers to see where memory fails
7. NJIT researchers probe links between vision problems and cognition in a pioneering study
8. Top Monash researchers recognised with NHMRC Excellence Awards
9. No link found between soy food and endometrial cancer risk, say researchers
10. Researchers use virus to reveal nanopore physics
11. Researchers identify regulation process of protein linked to bipolar disorder
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... RESTON, Va. , Oct. 29, 2015 ... announced today that it has released a new version ... Daon customers in North America ... gains. IdentityX v4.0 also includes a FIDO UAF ... customers are already preparing to activate FIDO features. These ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Connecticut , October 29, 2015 ... a biometric authentication company focused on the growing ... smart wallet announces that StackCommerce, a leading marketplace ... be featuring the Wocket® smart wallet on StackSocial ... NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), a biometric ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... Germany , October 27, 2015 ... SMI,s Automated Semantic Gaze Mapping technology (ASGM) automatically maps ... SMI,s Eye Tracking Glasses , so that they ... BeGaze. --> Munich, Germany , ... (ASGM) automatically maps data from mobile eye tracking videos ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015 HemoShear Therapeutics, LLC, ... drugs for metabolic disorders, announced today the appointment ... Board of Directors (BOD). Mr. Watkins is the ... Genome Sciences (HGS), and also served as the ... Jim Powers , Chairman and CEO of HemoShear ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... MUNICH and NEW YORK , ... irst investment by Bristol-Myers Squibb in a ... Bristol-Myers Squibb Company in which the companies ... products in immuno-oncology and other areas of unmet medical need. ... Squibb in LSP 5, the latest LSP fund. This is ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015 According to two new studies, ... This is something that many doctors, scientists, and public health ... remains: with fewer PSA tests being done, will there be ... Dr. David Samadi, "Despite the efforts made in ... the second leading cancer cause of death in men, killing ...
(Date:11/23/2015)... --  Ceres, Inc . (Nasdaq: CERE ), an ... fiscal year ended August 31, 2015 and provided an ... --> During fiscal year 2015, Ceres refocused ... a better balance of yield, energy and nutrition. Among ... leading crop input providers and made significant progress in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: