AdvisorHagedorn, Henry H.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractA comparative sequence analysis of mosquito vitellogenin genes was done to gain a better understanding of the evolution of vitellogenin genes in mosquitoes. Genomic clones of vitellogenin genes were isolated from Aedes aegypti , Ae. atropalpus, Culex quinquefasciatus , Toxorhynchites amboinensis, and Anopheles albimanus. Vitellogenin genes were also cloned using degenerate PCR primers from 34 species of mosquitoes representing genera (Aedes, Anopheles, Armigeres, Coquillettidia, Culex, Culiseta, Deinocerites, Psorophora, Mansonia, Mimomyia, Toxorhynchites, and Wyeomyia). Analysis of mosquito vitellogenin gene sequences suggests that a majority of nonsynonymous amino acid substitutions were due to conserved and moderately conserved changes. The vitellogenin genes of the three anautogenous mosquito species had very high synonymous codon usage biases. On the other hand, the vitellogenin genes of autogenous mosquitoes exhibited low synonymous codon usage bias. An unusual pattern of synonymous codon usage was observed in the first 15 amino acid residues encoding the signal peptide in the mosquito vitellogenin genes, where a significantly high number of rarely used synonymous codons have accumulated. A phylogenetic footprinting analysis detected several evolutionarily conserved sequence elements in the 5' regulatory regions of some of the mosquito vitellogenin genes. Mosquito phylogenetic trees reconstructed from maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and distance methods based on vitellogenin gene sequences are highly supported and robust, and vitellogenin gene sequences can be utilized to infer the phylogenetic history of mosquitoes, and perhaps other animals.
Degree ProgramGraduate College