Researchers at the Simon Fraser University in Canada have determined the genetic sequencing of 16 mosquitoes belonging to the Anopheles genus to understand why only certain mosquitoes transmit malaria to humans.
Computational methods were used to reconstruct ancestral mosquito genomes and analyse their chromosomal evolution over the past hundred million years. They believe that the understanding of how chromosomes evolved and to unravel potential adaptation mechanisms that may be related to malaria transmission. Moreover, the researchers hope to determine the genetic differences between these species and others that are merely bothersome and not toxic.
As only mosquitoes belonging to the Anopheles genus species transmit human malaria, not all species within the genus of each vector species are efficient malaria carriers. This suggests an underlying genetic/genomic plasticity that results in a variation of key traits determining transmission capacity within the genus.
The breakthrough can further help understand the genomic adaptability of mosquitoes in transmitting malaria. The study was published in Science Express, a publication of selected papers of the journal Science.
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