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Molecular make-up of a malaria mosquito

the mosquito vector that spreads malaria has been sequenced.

Jonathan Weitzman(jonathanweitzman@hotmail.com)

In the October 4 Science, a large international team of scientists lead by Robert Holt and colleagues at Celera Genomics reports the genome sequence of the mosquito Anopheles gambiae (Science, 298:129-149, October 4, 2002). The authors introduce their chosen beast as the 'scourge of humanity', delivering malaria, dengue and yellow fever to hundreds of millions of sufferers each year.

Holt et al. chose the A. gambiae PEST strain because it has been extensively studied and bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) libraries had been previously created and mapped. They created new BAC and plasmid libraries and generated tenfold shotgun sequence coverage of the 278 megabase genome, assembling the sequence into almost 9000 scaffolds, the longest of which was 23.1 Mbp. They experienced difficulties with assembly due to the unprecedented extent of genetic variation in the PEST genome. The genome seems to contain two haplotypes of roughly equal abundance...

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