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Genome Res. 2002 Jan;12(1):57-66.

A comparative genomic analysis of two distant diptera, the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, and the malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae.

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  • 1Genome Research Laboratory, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, FORTH, 71110 Heraklion, Crete, Greece.


Genome evolution entails changes in the DNA sequence of genes and intergenic regions, changes in gene numbers, and also changes in gene order along the chromosomes. Genes are reshuffled by chromosomal rearrangements such as deletions/insertions, inversions, translocations, and transpositions. Here we report a comparative study of genome organization in the main African malaria vector, Anopheles gambiae, relative to the recently determined sequence of the Drosophila melanogaster genome. The ancestral lines of these two dipteran insects are thought to have separated approximately 250 Myr, a long period that makes this genome comparison especially interesting. Sequence comparisons have identified 113 pairs of putative orthologs of the two species. Chromosomal mapping of orthologous genes reveals that each polytene chromosome arm has a homolog in the other species. Between 41% and 73% of the known orthologous genes remain linked in the respective homologous chromosomal arms, with the remainder translocated to various nonhomologous arms. Within homologous arms, gene order is extensively reshuffled, but a limited degree of conserved local synteny (microsynteny) can be recognized.

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