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Open Access Research article

Novel transposable elements from Anopheles gambiae

Rita D Fernández-Medina1*, Cláudio J Struchiner12 and José MC Ribeiro3

Author Affiliations

1 Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública Sergio Arouca, Av. Brasil, 4365. 21040 360. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

2 Instituto de Medicina Social, Universidade do Estado de Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

3 Section of Vector Biology, Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, MD 20852, USA

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BMC Genomics 2011, 12:260  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-12-260

Published: 23 May 2011

Abstract

Background

Transposable elements (TEs) are DNA sequences, present in the genome of most eukaryotic organisms that hold the key characteristic of being able to mobilize and increase their copy number within chromosomes. These elements are important for eukaryotic genome structure and evolution and lately have been considered as potential drivers for introducing transgenes into pathogen-transmitting insects as a means to control vector-borne diseases. The aim of this work was to catalog the diversity and abundance of TEs within the Anopheles gambiae genome using the PILER tool and to consolidate a database in the form of a hyperlinked spreadsheet containing detailed and readily available information about the TEs present in the genome of An. gambiae.

Results

Here we present the spreadsheet named AnoTExcel that constitutes a database with detailed information on most of the repetitive elements present in the genome of the mosquito. Despite previous work on this topic, our approach permitted the identification and characterization both of previously described and novel TEs that are further described in detailed.

Conclusions

Identification and characterization of TEs in a given genome is important as a way to understand the diversity and evolution of the whole set of TEs present in a given species. This work contributes to a better understanding of the landscape of TEs present in the mosquito genome. It also presents a novel platform for the identification, analysis, and characterization of TEs on sequenced genomes.