The sequence of a male-specific genome region containing the sex determination switch in Aedes aegypti



Turner, Joe, Krishna, Ritesh, Van 't Hof, Arjen, Sutton, Elizabeth, Matzen, Kelly and Darby, Alistair
(2018) The sequence of a male-specific genome region containing the sex determination switch in Aedes aegypti. Parasites and Vectors.

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Abstract

Aedes aegypti is the principal vector of several important arboviruses. Among the methods of vector control to limit transmission of disease are genetic strategies that involve the release of sterile or genetically modified non-biting males, which has generated interest in manipulating mosquito sex ratios. Sex determination in Ae. aegypti is controlled by a non-recombining Y chromosome-like region called the M locus, yet characterisation of this locus has been thwarted by the repetitive nature of the genome. In 2015, an M locus gene named Nix was identified that displays the qualities of a sex determination switch. With the use of a whole-genome BAC library, we amplified and sequenced a ~200kb region containing this male-determining gene. In this study, we show that Nix is comprised of two exons separated by a 99kb intron, making it an unusually large gene. The intron sequence is highly repetitive and exhibits features in common with old Y chromosomes, and we speculate that the lack of recombination at the M locus has allowed the expansion of repeats in a manner characteristic of a sex-limited chromosome, in accordance with proposed models of sex chromosome evolution in insects.

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2018 11:03
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2019 08:11
DOI: 10.1186/s13071-018-3090-3
URI: http://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3028900
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