Inversions and Gene Order Shuffling in Anopheles gambiae and A. funestus

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Science  04 Oct 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5591, pp. 182-185
DOI: 10.1126/science.1076803

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In tropical Africa, Anopheles funestus is one of the three most important malaria vectors. We physically mapped 157 A. funestus complementary DNAs (cDNAs) to the polytene chromosomes of this species. Sequences of the cDNAs were mapped in silico to theA. gambiae genome as part of a comparative genomic study of synteny, gene order, and sequence conservation between A. funestus and A. gambiae. These species are in the same subgenus and diverged about as recently as humans and chimpanzees. Despite nearly perfect preservation of synteny, we found substantial shuffling of gene order along corresponding chromosome arms. Since the divergence of these species, at least 70 chromosomal inversions have been fixed, the highest rate of rearrangement of any eukaryote studied to date. The high incidence of paracentric inversions and limited colinearity suggests that locating genes in one anopheline species based on gene order in another may be limited to closely related taxa.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: besansky.1{at}nd.edu

  • These authors contributed equally to this work.

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