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Natural Malaria Infection in Anopheles gambiae Is Regulated by a Single Genomic Control Region

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Science  28 Apr 2006:
Vol. 312, Issue 5773, pp. 577-579
DOI: 10.1126/science.1124153

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Abstract

We surveyed an Anopheles gambiae population in a West African malaria transmission zone for naturally occurring genetic loci that control mosquito infection with the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. The strongest Plasmodium resistance loci cluster in a small region of chromosome 2L and each locus explains at least 89% of parasite-free mosquitoes in independent pedigrees. Together, the clustered loci form a genomic Plasmodium-resistance island that explains most of the genetic variation for malaria parasite infection of mosquitoes in nature. Among the candidate genes in this chromosome region, RNA interference knockdown assays confirm a role in Plasmodium resistance for Anopheles Plasmodium-responsive leucine-rich repeat 1 (APL1), encoding a leucine-rich repeat protein that is similar to molecules involved in natural pathogen resistance mechanisms in plants and mammals.

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