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J Biomol Tech. 2013 Apr;24(1):1-7. doi: 10.7171/jbt.13-2401-001.

Rapid discrimination between Anopheles gambiae s.s. and Anopheles arabiensis by High-Resolution Melt (HRM) analysis.

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Plant-Microbe Genomics Facility, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


There is a need for more cost-effective options to more accurately discriminate among members of the Anopheles gambiae complex, particularly An. gambiae and Anopheles arabiensis. These species are morphologically indistinguishable in the adult stage, have overlapping distributions, but are behaviorally and ecologically different, yet both are efficient vectors of malaria in equatorial Africa. The method described here, High-Resolution Melt (HRM) analysis, takes advantage of minute differences in DNA melting characteristics, depending on the number of incongruent single nucleotide polymorphisms in an intragenic spacer region of the X-chromosome-based ribosomal DNA. The two species in question differ by an average of 13 single-nucleotide polymorphisms giving widely divergent melting curves. A real-time PCR system, Bio-Rad CFX96, was used in combination with a dsDNA-specific dye, EvaGreen, to detect and measure the melting properties of the amplicon generated from leg-extracted DNA of selected mosquitoes. Results with seven individuals from pure colonies of known species, as well as 10 field-captured individuals unambiguously identified by DNA sequencing, demonstrated that the method provided a high level of accuracy. The method was used to identify 86 field mosquitoes through the assignment of each to the two common clusters with a high degree of certainty. Each cluster was defined by individuals from pure colonies. HRM analysis is simpler to use than most other methods and provides comparable or more accurate discrimination between the two sibling species but requires a specialized melt-analysis instrument and software.


AS-PCR; mosquito; rDNA; single nucleotide polymorphism

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