Culicoides sonorensis reference genome
Biting midges of the genus Culicoides transmit some of the most important arboviruses of wildlife and livestock worldwide, with a global impact on economic productivity, health and welfare. The complete reference genome for C. sonorensis, a vector of bluetongue virus (BTV), is now available on VectorBase, with research published in BMC Genomics.
Collaborators from eight institutions revealed the genome to be 189 Mb, assembled in 7974 scaffolds. Transcriptomic data identified 15,612 genes. Gene expression analyses of C. sonorensis females infected with BTV revealed 165 genes that were differentially expressed between vector competent and refractory females
The availability of the C. sonorensis genome will provide a scaffold for genetic studies, including enabling further research on the location and function of important genes. For instance, characterising genes involved in the transmission of livestock viruses and performing comparisons with other groups of vectors.
This research was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC); grant number BB/J016721/1.