Navigation Links
Genome of yellow fever/dengue fever mosquito sequenced

Developing new strategies to prevent and control yellow fever and dengue fever has become more possible with the completion of the first draft of the genome sequence of Aedes aegypti mosquito by scientists led by Vishvanath Nene at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) and David Severson at the University of Notre Dame. The genome is the complete set of genetic material including genes and other segments of DNA in an organism.

The research appears in the May 18, 2007 Science Express, in the article, "Genome Sequence of Aedes aegypti, A Major Arbovirus Vector." Researchers at 24 universities and other institutions worldwide contributed to the effort.

Among the co-authors are members of the Vector-Borne Infectious Disease Research Group at Virginia Tech (, Zhijian (Jake) Tu, associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry (; James K Biedler, biochemistry postdoctoral associate; Song Li, research specialist senior in biochemistry; and Monique Royer Coy, biochemistry graduate student; and Chunhong Mao, senior project associate with the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech.

Tu coordinated efforts with TIGR and five research laboratories in the United States, Spain, and France to annotate transposable elements (TEs) in the Ae. aegypti genome. TEs are segments of nucleic acids, or genetic material, that move around the genome and have a significant impact on its structure and size.

Also, Jinsong Zhu, assistant professor of biochemistry at Virginia Tech, who was a senior researcher at the University of California, Riverside, is involved in this process that has so far validated about 80 percent of the 15,419 predicted protein coding genes in Ae. aegypti. He explains, "An important part of this project is gene annotation which predicts numbers and locations of mosquito genes in the genome. In parallel to sequencing DNA in chromosomes, scientists have also sequenced large amounts of messenger RNAs collected from different mosquito tissues at distinct developmental stages. Matching a messenger RNA to a predicted gene will validate authenticity of this gene."

The TE team, lead by the Tu laboratory, uncovered and described more than 1,000 transposable elements, which occupy approximately 50 percent of the entire Ae. aegypti genome. For example, a transposable element named Feilai has more than 50,000 copies interspersed in the genome. By comparison, Anopheles gambiae, the malaria mosquito genome is probably less than 25 percent TEs. The Ae. aegypti genome is five times the size of the malaria mosquito genome.

"Although the majority of protein coding TE copies in Ae. aegypti appear to be degenerate, a significant number of elements have potentially active TE copies, indicating that they may be developed as tools for genetic studies of mosquitoes," Tu said.

"If you look at the genome as an ecological system, TEs are different lineages that co-evolve with the rest of the genome" said Tu. "They evolve different relationships with the genome. Some are genetic parasites; they appear to do nothing except replicate within the genome. Others are used by the host -- the individual organism's genetic machinery --to perform biological functions."

TEs may be developed as genetic tools to study the interaction between mosquitoes and pathogens, and thus may lead to controls of transmission of disease, Tu said. Control might take the form of a genetic control, such as using TEs to carry a gene into the genome that would make the mosquito resistant to the virus and stop its role as a vector for disease. Although that scenario is challenging, the payoff is potentially great, Tu said.

"By introducing TEs in a more or less random way to see what happens to the laboratory mosquitoes, the TEs become a tool to s tudy the genetic mechanism of mosquito-virus interaction, to help us understand mosquito biology and reveal new ways to interfere with disease transmission," Tu said.

According to the article in Science Express, the general failure to date of conventional disease prevention strategies for most mosquito-borne pathogens provides a strong incentive to explore and develop novel control strategies that efficiently disrupt the transmission cycle or enhance existing strategies. The Ae. aegypti genome sequence is expected to stimulate efforts to elucidate interactions at the molecular level between mosquitoes and the pathogens they transmit to humans.

Source:Virginia Tech

Related biology news :

1. Genome of deadly amoeba shows surprising complexity, evidence of lateral gene transfer
2. Affymetrix Unveils Plans to Double Plant and Animal Genome Microarray Offering
3. Genome-wide mouse study yields link to human leukemia
4. New Study from Affymetrix Laboratories Points to Changing View of How Genome Works
5. Multiple Campylobacter Genomes Sequenced
6. Analysis Of Human Genome To Predict The Development Of Illnesses
7. Whole genome promoter mapping - Human Genome Project v2.0?
8. Genome study of beneficial microbe may help boost plant health
9. Candida albicans Genome Fully Annotated
10. Genome Sequence for Haemophilus Influenzae Completed
11. NHGRI Selects 13 More Organisms for Genome Sequencing

Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/20/2015)... OXFORD, Connecticut , November 20, 2015 ... biometric authentication company focused on the growing mobile commerce ... its CEO, Gino Pereira , was recently interviewed ... The interview will air on this weekend on ... Bloomberg Latin America . --> NXTD ) ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... -- Paris from 17 th ... Paris from 17 th until 19 th ... has invented the first combined scanner in the world which ... surface. Until now two different scanners were required: one for ... on the same surface. This innovation is an ideal ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... -- A golden retriever that stayed healthy despite having the ... a new lead for treating this muscle-wasting disorder, report ... MIT and Harvard and the University of São Paolo ... Cell, pinpoints a protective gene that boosts muscle ... Boston Children,s lab of Lou Kunkel , PhD, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015  PharmAthene, Inc. (NYSE ... has adopted a stockholder rights plan (Rights Plan) in ... operating loss carryforwards (NOLs) under Section 382 of the ... --> PharmAthene,s use of its NOLs could ... change" as defined in Section 382 of the Code. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015  Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: NBIX ... and CEO of Neurocrine Biosciences, will be presenting at ... New York . .   ... approximately 5 minutes prior to the presentation to download ... presentation will be available on the website approximately one ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... November 25, 2015 The ... is a professional and in-depth study on the ...      (Logo: ) , ... industry including definitions, classifications, applications and industry chain ... the international markets including development trends, competitive landscape ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 Cepheid (NASDAQ: ... be speaking at the following conference, and invited investors ... York, NY      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at ... York, NY      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at ... Healthcare Conference, New York, NY ...
Breaking Biology Technology: