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Gene Conversion Explains Elevated Diversity in the Immunity Modulating APL1 Gene of the Malaria Vector Anopheles funestus

Hearn, J, Riveron, JM, Irving, H, Weedall, GD and Wondji, CS (2022) Gene Conversion Explains Elevated Diversity in the Immunity Modulating APL1 Gene of the Malaria Vector Anopheles funestus. Genes, 13 (6). p. 1102. ISSN 2073-4425

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Leucine-rich repeat proteins and antimicrobial peptides are the key components 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 the 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. The 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 hypothesize 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
Uncontrolled Keywords: Animals; Anopheles; Malaria; Insect Proteins; Gene Conversion; Mosquito Vectors; elevated diversity; gene conversion; immunogenetics; mosquito biology; parasite–host interactions; population genomics; vector biology; Animals; Anopheles; Gene Conversion; Insect Proteins; Malaria; Mosquito Vectors; 0604 Genetics
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (from Sep 19)
Publisher: MDPI AG
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2022 15:44
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2022 15:45
DOI or ID number: 10.3390/genes13061102
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/17226
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