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Gene conversion explains elevated diversity in the immunity modulating APL1 gene of the malaria vector Anopheles funestus

Hearn, Jack ORCID:, Riveron, Jacob ORCID:, Irving, Helen, Weedall, Gareth D. and Wondji, Charles ORCID: (2022) 'Gene conversion explains elevated diversity in the immunity modulating APL1 gene of the malaria vector Anopheles funestus'. Genes, Vol 13, Issue 6, e1102.

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Leucine rich repeat proteins and antimicrobial peptides are key component of the innate immune response to Plasmodium and other microbial pathogens in Anopheles mosquitoes. The APL1 gene of the malaria vector Anopheles funestus has exceptional levels of non-synonymous polymorphism across the range of An. funestus with an average πn of 0.027 versus a genome-wide average of 0.002, and πn is consistently high in populations across Africa. Elevated APL1 diversity was consistent between independent pooled-template and target-enrichment datasets, however no link between APL1 diversity and insecticide-resistance was observed. Although lacking the diversity of APL1, two further mosquito innate immunity genes of the gambicin anti-microbial peptide family had πn/πs ratios greater than one, possibly driven by either positive or balancing selection. Cecropin antimicrobial peptides were expressed much more highly than other anti-microbial peptide genes, a result discordant with current models of anti-microbial peptide activity. The observed APL1 diversity likely results from gene conversion between paralogues, as evidenced by shared polymorphisms, overlapping read mappings, and recombination events among paralogues. In conclusion, we hypothesise that higher gene expression of APL1 than its paralogues is correlated with a more open chromatin formation which enhances gene conversion and elevated diversity at this locus.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptive Evolution of Insects
Subjects: QU Biochemistry > Genetics > QU 470 Genetic structures
QU Biochemistry > Genetics > QU 500 Genetic phenomena
QX Parasitology > Insects. Other Parasites > QX 515 Anopheles
QX Parasitology > Insects. Other Parasites > QX 650 Insect vectors
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 750 Malaria
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Vector Biology Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Georgia Harrison
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2022 10:39
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2022 10:39


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