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DNA Barcoding and Genome Size: an assessment of utility for Biomonitoring Mosquito Vectors of Malaria in Western Kenya

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Title: DNA Barcoding and Genome Size: an assessment of utility for Biomonitoring Mosquito Vectors of Malaria in Western Kenya
Author: Hadfield, Kelly
Department: Department of Integrative Biology
Program: Integrative Biology
Advisor: Gregory, Ryan
Abstract: The influence of climate and land use change on mosquito population distribution is one of the most important processes challenging the ability of malaria control programs to minimize the public health and economic impacts of malaria in Africa. I investigated the current utility of DNA barcoding and whether the Barcode of Life Data System (BOLD) database at its present state of maturity is sufficient to facilitate the biosurveillance of malaria vectors in western Kenya. In addition, I investigated whether genome size can be used as a measure for diagnostic characterization of Anopheles malaria vectors. While the DNA barcoding approach and BOLD are sufficient, the current utility of DNA barcoding to do so is relatively limited due to the contents of the reference database in BOLD that is not yet comprehensive enough to be used in large-scale mosquito vector biosurveillance efforts. However, this study showed that with a more complete mosquito reference library composed of DNA barcodes that meet gold standard criteria, DNA barcoding could greatly enhance the capacity for DNA-based diagnostics of Anopheles mosquitoes in western Kenya and make important distinctions between vector and non-vector species. Genome size did show some utility for genus-level taxonomic resolution, but it was not able to resolve species within the genus Anopheles. These results suggest that more mosquito DNA barcodes that conform to ‘gold standard’ criteria need to be added to BOLD before DNA barcoding can be utilized for malaria vector biomonitoring in Africa.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/7806
Date: 2013-12
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