Culicoides species are vectors of pathogens afflicting livestock, including Bluetongue virus (BTV), Schmallenberg virus and African horse sickness virus (AHSV). Despite their importance, Culicoides species are the last major family of biological vectors within the Diptera for which a genome sequence is not available.
Ensembl Genomes is working with The Pirbright Institute and TGAC, funded by the BBSRC (grant number BB/J017299/1), to assemble and annotate the genome of C. sonorensis, and perform a genome-wide association study for vector competence for BTV and AHSV in C.sonorensis. The project is utilisiing the KC cell line and Culicoides colonies maintained by Pirbright for these purposes.
This work has now been published in BMC Genomics ("The genome of the biting midge Culicoides sonorensis and gene expression analyses of vector competence for Bluetongue virus.”), and the annotated genome and transcriptome data was released to the community in the December 2018 release of Ensembl Metazoa.