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Keywords:

  • Culex pipiens;
  • Culex quinquefasciatus;
  • microsatellite;
  • null allele;
  • West Nile virus

Abstract

Microsatellites were isolated and characterized in the northern house mosquito, Culex pipiens, a widespread pest species and important vector of diseases such as West Nile virus. An enrichment protocol yielded 150 positive clones. We designed primers to amplify 17 unique (GT)n microsatellites, eight of which amplified cleanly and were polymorphic. A survey of 29 individuals showed that these loci are highly variable with the number of alleles ranging from seven to 19 and expected heterozygosity ranging from 0.66 to 0.93. These markers will be useful for studies of population structure and intraspecific variation in epidemiological characteristics of Cx. pipiens.