Sequencing of Culex quinquefasciatus establishes a platform for mosquito comparative genomics

Culex quinquefasciatus (the southern house mosquito) is an important mosquito vector of viruses such as West Nile virus and St. Louis encephalitis virus, as well as of nematodes that cause lymphatic filariasis. C. quinquefasciatus is one species within the Culex pipiens species complex and can be found throughout tropical and temperate climates of the world. The ability of C. quinquefasciatus to take blood meals from birds, livestock, and humans contributes to its ability to vector pathogens between species. Here, we describe the genomic sequence of C. quinquefasciatus: Its repertoire of 18,883 protein-coding genes is 22% larger than that of Aedes aegypti and 52% larger than that of Anopheles gambiae with multiple gene-family expansions, including olfactory and gustatory receptors, salivary gland genes, and genes associated with xenobiotic detoxification.