Imaginal Discs - A New Source of Chromosomes for Genome Mapping of the Yellow Fever Mosquito Aedes aegypti
Background: The mosquito Aedes aegypti is the primary global vector for dengue and yellow fever viruses. Sequencing of the Ae. aegypti genome has stimulated research in vector biology and insect genomics. However, the current genome assembly is highly fragmented with only ,31% of the genome being assigned to chromosomes. A lack of a reliable source of chromosomes for physical mapping has been a major impediment to improving the genome assembly of Ae. aegypti.
Methodology/Principal Findings: In this study we demonstrate the utility of mitotic chromosomes from imaginal discs of 4th instar larva for cytogenetic studies of Ae. aegypti. High numbers of mitotic divisions on each slide preparation, large sizes, and reproducible banding patterns of the individual chromosomes simplify cytogenetic procedures. Based on the banding structure of the chromosomes, we have developed idiograms for each of the three Ae. aegypti chromosomes and placed 10 BAC clones and a 18S rDNA probe to precise chromosomal positions.
Conclusion: The study identified imaginal discs of 4th instar larva as a superior source of mitotic chromosomes for Ae. aegypti. The proposed approach allows precise mapping of DNA probes to the chromosomal positions and can be utilized for obtaining a high-quality genome assembly of the yellow fever mosquito.