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Genetics. 2004 Mar;166(3):1291-302.

Isolation and characterization of Y chromosome sequences from the African malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae.

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  • 1Center for Tropical Disease Research and Training, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556, USA.


The karyotype of the African malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae contains two pairs of autosomes and a pair of sex chromosomes. The Y chromosome, constituting approximately 10% of the genome, remains virtually unexplored, despite the recent completion of the A. gambiae genome project. Here we report the identification and characterization of Y chromosome sequences of total length approaching 150 kb. We developed 11 Y-specific PCR markers that consistently yielded male-specific products in specimens from both laboratory colony and natural populations. The markers are characterized by low sequence polymorphism in samples collected across Africa and by presence in more than one copy on the Y. Screening of the A. gambiae BAC library using these markers allowed detection of 90 Y-linked BAC clones. Analysis of the BAC sequences and other Y-derived fragments showed massive accumulation of a few transposable elements. Nevertheless, more complex sequences are apparently present on the Y; these include portions of an approximately 48-kb-long unmapped AAAB01008227 scaffold from the whole genome shotgun assembly. Anopheles Y appears not to harbor any of the genes identified in Drosophila Y. However, experiments suggest that one of the ORFs from the AAAB01008227 scaffold represents a fragment of a gene with male-specific expression.

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