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ultra-conserved element

Ultra-conserved sequences in the genomes of highly diverse Anopheles mosquitoes, with implications for malaria vector control

March 18, 2021 - 16:08 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
O'Loughlin SM, Forster AJ, Fuchs S, Dottorini T, Nolan T, Crisanti A, Burt A
Reference: 
G3 (Bethesda). 2021 Mar 17:jkab086

DNA sequences that are exactly conserved over long evolutionary time scales have been observed in a variety of taxa. Such sequences are likely under strong functional constraint and they have been useful in the field of comparative genomics for identifying genome regions with regulatory function. A potential new application for these ultra-conserved elements has emerged in the development of gene drives to control mosquito populations. Many gene drives work by recognising and inserting at a specific target sequence in the genome, often imposing a reproductive load as a consequence.

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