BioWorld International Correspondent
PARIS - An international consortium led by the French National Sequencing Center, the Genoscope, and the Institut Pasteur announced the complete sequencing of Anopheles gambiae, the mosquito that carries malaria, and of the parasite mainly responsible for the disease in man, Plasmodium falciparum.
The mosquito's genome was found to contain 14,000 genes, and its sequencing will make it possible to develop a genetics-based approach to dealing with the resurgence in malaria around the world, due to the development of resistance in the parasite to existing therapeutics and resistance in the mosquito to insecticides.
The international consortium of private and public organizations was created in March 2001, but the Genoscope, which is based at the Genopole, France's national biotechnology science and business park at Evry, had been working on the Anopheles mosquito since 1998, in association with the Institut Pasteur, a Paris-based, not-for-profit medical research establishment.
The other members of the consortium are Celera Genomics, of Rockville, Md.; The Institute for Genomic Research in the U.S.; the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Germany; the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology in Greece; the University of Notre Dame in the U.S.; and Ensembl, a UK-based joint venture between the Wellcome Trust and the European Bioinformatics institute. The program was undertaken with the support of the special program on tropical diseases run out of Geneva by the United Nations Development Program, the World Health Organization and the World Bank.