Anopheles gambiae is the mosquito vector that is responsible for the transmission of malaria across Africa. In the June 11 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Dana Thomasová and colleagues report the sequencing of bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs) covering over 500 kilobases from the Pen1 locus within the 8C region of A. gambiae chromosome 2R (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2002, 99:8179-8184).

Sequence analysis led to the identification and annotation of 48 genes (46 encoding proteins and 2 for tRNAs). Comparison with the genomic sequence of another dipteran insect, Drosophila melanogaster, revealed considerable conservation (38 of the 46 genes have fruit fly homolog) and regions of microsynteny. Also, Thomasová et al. found evidence for extensive local sequence variation within the A. gambiae genome. This study demonstrates how comparison with the Drosophila genome sequence is likely to accelerate annotation and analysis of the Anopheles genome....

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