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Mosquito MITEs

Study of the mosquito genome is driven by the need for improved strategies to control the transmission of malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases. In the February 13 Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Tu describes the use of a novel computer program, FINDMITE, to search systematically for DNA transposable elements in the genome of the African malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:1699-1704). The program identified eight novel families of miniature inv

Jonathan Weitzman

Study of the mosquito genome is driven by the need for improved strategies to control the transmission of malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases. In the February 13 Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Tu describes the use of a novel computer program, FINDMITE, to search systematically for DNA transposable elements in the genome of the African malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:1699-1704). The program identified eight novel families of miniature inverted repeat transposable elements (MITEs) that range from 40-1,340 copies per genome (constituting up to 0.8% of the genome). The A. gambiae MITEs are found in AT-rich regions and appear to be clustered together. The identification of transposable elements may help attempts to create genetically modified mosquitoes to control malaria.

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