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Vectors of bluetongue get a name
Date:10/6/2011

e are very promising. Until now there is no way to differentiate larvae.

The scientists produced a 'gene chip' or micro-array, a glass slide to which short pieces of DNA are attached, that are characteristic for each species. It costs quite some searching in the DNA to find those characteristic stretches, but once you have found them (in this case the ITS1 gene was used), you can attach them one next to the other on a glass slide. Such a slide can contain several dozens of different pieces of DNA, on well documented positions. When you wash the gene chip with DNA from an unknown no-see-um getting that DNA is a routine job in these modern times identical pieces of DNA will recognise and stick to each other. This causes a blue colour reaction at that spot. With the naked eye one can recognise the characteristic pattern of spots for each species.

Contrary to other molecular identification tests, this one is very specific, and able to recognise several species at the same time. It certainly helps to determinate midges that are difficult to recognise under the microscope. And it works. When the French CIRAD (Centre for International cooperation and Research for Agronomy and Development) sent out a ring test to see which labs could identify four species of biting midges with molecular methods, ITG was the only institute to identify all samples correctly, three times in a row.


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Contact: Isra Deblauwe
ideblauwe@itg.be
32-324-76528
Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp
Source:Eurekalert

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