Alternative patterns of sex chromosome differentiation in Aedes aegypti (L)

Corey L. Campbell, Laura B. Dickson, Saul Lozano-Fuentes, Punita Juneja, Francis M. Jiggins, William C. Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Some populations of West African Aedes aegypti, the dengue and zika vector, are reproductively incompatible; our earlier study showed that divergence and rearrangements of genes on chromosome 1, which bears the sex locus (M), may be involved. We also previously described a proposed cryptic subspecies SenAae (PK10, Senegal) that had many more high inter-sex FST genes on chromosome 1 than did Ae.aegypti aegypti (Aaa, Pai Lom, Thailand). The current work more thoroughly explores the significance of those findings. Results: Intersex standardized variance (FST) of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) was characterized from genomic exome capture libraries of both sexes in representative natural populations of Aaa and SenAae. Our goal was to identify SNPs that varied in frequency between males and females, and most were expected to occur on chromosome 1. Use of the assembled AaegL4 reference alleviated the previous problem of unmapped genes. Because the M locus gene nix was not captured and not present in AaegL4, the male-determining locus, per se, was not explored. Sex-associated genes were those with FST values ≥ 0.100 and/or with increased expected heterozygosity (H exp , one-sided T-test, p < 0.05) in males. There were 85 genes common to both collections with high inter-sex FST values; all genes but one were located on chromosome 1. Aaa showed the expected cluster of high inter-sex FST genes proximal to the M locus, whereas SenAae had inter-sex FST genes along the length of chromosome 1. In addition, the Aaa M-locus proximal region showed increased H exp levels in males, whereas SenAae did not. In SenAae, chromosomal rearrangements and subsequent suppressed recombination may have accelerated X-Y differentiation. Conclusions: The evidence presented here is consistent with differential evolution of proto-Y chromosomes in Aaa and SenAae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number943
JournalBMC Genomics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 4 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Arbovirus vector
  • Dimorphic traits
  • Evolution of reproductive proteins
  • Genomics
  • Population genetics
  • Sex determination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Genetics


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