Accurate determination of DNA yield from individual mosquitoes for population genomic applications


Craig Wilding, Vector Group, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Pembroke Place, Liverpool, L3 5QA, UK. Tel: +44 (0)151 705 3225; fax: +44 (0)151 705 3369; email:


Abstract  Accurate estimates of DNA quantity are likely to become increasingly important for successful genomic screening of insect populations via recently developed, highly multiplexed genotyping assays and high-throughput sequencing methods. Here we show that genomic DNA extractions from single Anopheles gambiae Giles using a standard commercial kit-based methodology yield extracts with concentrations below the linear range of spectrophotometric absorbance at 260 nm. Concentrations determined by spectrophotometry were not reproducible, and are therefore neither accurate nor reliable. However, DNA quantification using a fluorescent nucleic acid stain (PicoGreen®) gave highly reproducible concentration estimates, and indicated that, on average, single mosquitoes yielded approximately 300 ng of DNA. Such a total yield is currently insufficient for many high-throughput genome screening applications, necessitating whole genome amplification of all or most individuals in a population prior to genotyping.