An Integrated Linkage, Chromosome, and Genome Map for the Yellow Fever Mosquito Aedes aegypti
Background: Aedes aegypti, the yellow fever mosquito, is an efficient vector of arboviruses and a convenient model system for laboratory research. Extensive linkage mapping of morphological and molecular markers localized a number of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) related to the mosquito’s ability to transmit various pathogens. However, linking the QTLs to Ae. aegypti chromosomes and genomic sequences has been challenging because of the poor quality of polytene chromosomes and the highly fragmented genome assembly for this species.
Methodology/Principal Findings: Based on the approach developed in our previous study, we constructed idiograms for mitotic chromosomes of Ae. aegypti based on their banding patterns at early metaphase. These idiograms represent the first cytogenetic map developed for mitotic chromosomes of Ae. aegypti. One hundred bacterial artificial chromosome clones carrying major genetic markers were hybridized to the chromosomes using fluorescent in situ hybridization. As a result, QTLs related to the transmission of the filarioid nematode Brugia malayi, the avian malaria parasite Plasmodium gallinaceum, and the dengue virus, as well as sex determination locus and 183 Mbp of genomic sequences were anchored to the exact positions on Ae. aegypti chromosomes. A linear regression analysis demonstrated a good correlation between positions of the markers on the physical and linkage maps. As a result of the recombination rate variation along the chromosomes, 12 QTLs on the linkage map were combined into five major clusters of QTLs on the chromosome map.
Conclusion: This study developed an integrated linkage, chromosome, and genome map—iMap—for the yellow fever mosquito. Our discovery of the localization of multiple QTLs in a few major chromosome clusters suggests a possibility that the transmission of various pathogens is controlled by the same genomic loci. Thus, the iMap will facilitate the identification of genomic determinants of traits responsible for susceptibility or refractoriness of the mosquito to diverse pathogens.