Background: Association mapping approaches are dependent upon discovery and validation of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). To further association studies in Anopheles gambiae we conducted a major resequencing programme, primarily targeting regions within or close to candidate genes for insecticide resistance.
Results: Using two pools of mosquito template DNA we sequenced over 300 kbp across 660 distinct amplicons of the An. gambiae genome. Comparison of SNPs identified from pooled templates with those from individual sequences revealed a very low false positive rate. False negative rates were much higher and mostly resulted from SNPs with a low minor allele frequency. Pooled-template sequencing also provided good estimates of SNP allele frequencies. Allele frequency estimation success, along with false positive and negative call rates, improved significantly when using a qualitative measure of SNP call quality. We identified a total of 7062 polymorphic features comprising 6995 SNPs and 67 indels, with, on average, a SNP every 34 bp; a high rate of polymorphism that is comparable to other studies of mosquitoes. SNPs were significantly more frequent in members of the cytochrome p450 mono-oxygenases and carboxy/cholinesterase gene-families than in glutathione-S-transferases, other detoxification genes, and control genomic regions. Polymorphic sites showed a significantly clustered distribution, but the degree of SNP clustering (independent of SNP frequency) did not vary among gene families, suggesting that clustering of polymorphisms is a general property of the An. gambiae genome.
Conclusion: The high frequency and clustering of SNPs has important ramifications for the design of high-throughput genotyping assays based on allele specific primer extension or probe hybridisation. We illustrate these issues in the context of the design of Illumina GoldenGate assays.