Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences

Honorary Senior Lecturer







Mrs Lucy Collyns +44 (0)20 7594 5395




Sir Alexander Fleming BuildingSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Papa, F and Windbichler, N and Waterhouse, RM and Cagnetti, A and D'Amato, R and Persampieri, T and Lawniczak, MKN and Nolan, T and Papathanos, PA},
doi = {10.1101/gr.217216.116},
journal = {GENOME RESEARCH},
pages = {1536--1548},
title = {Rapid evolution of female-biased genes among four species of Anopheles malaria mosquitoes},
url = {},
volume = {27},
year = {2017}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Understanding how phenotypic differences between males and females arise from the sex-biased expression of nearly identical genomes can reveal important insights into the biology and evolution of a species. Among Anopheles mosquito species, these phenotypic differences include vectorial capacity, as it is only females that blood feed and thus transmit human malaria. Here, we use RNA-seq data from multiple tissues of four vector species spanning the Anopheles phylogeny to explore the genomic and evolutionary properties of sex-biased genes. We find that, in these mosquitoes, in contrast to what has been found in many other organisms, female-biased genes are more rapidly evolving in sequence, expression, and genic turnover than male-biased genes. Our results suggest that this atypical pattern may be due to the combination of sex-specific life history challenges encountered by females, such as blood feeding. Furthermore, female propensity to mate only once in nature in male swarms likely diminishes sexual selection of post-reproductive traits related to sperm competition among males. We also develop a comparative framework to systematically explore tissue- and sex-specific splicing to document its conservation throughout the genus and identify a set of candidate genes for future functional analyses of sex-specific isoform usage. Finally, our data reveal that the deficit of male-biased genes on the X Chromosomes in Anopheles is a conserved feature in this genus and can be directly attributed to chromosome-wide transcriptional regulation that de-masculinizes the X in male reproductive tissues.
AU - Papa,F
AU - Windbichler,N
AU - Waterhouse,RM
AU - Cagnetti,A
AU - D'Amato,R
AU - Persampieri,T
AU - Lawniczak,MKN
AU - Nolan,T
AU - Papathanos,PA
DO - 10.1101/gr.217216.116
EP - 1548
PY - 2017///
SN - 1088-9051
SP - 1536
TI - Rapid evolution of female-biased genes among four species of Anopheles malaria mosquitoes
UR -
UR -
UR -
VL - 27
ER -