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Scientists Explore on Genetic Transformation of Mosquitoes

Genetically engineered mosquitoes were successfully developed by scientists from Mexico using microparticle bombardment. The details of their study are released in Insect Molecular Biology. Mosquitoes are known vectors of life-threatening diseases such as Malaria, Yellow Fever, Dengue, Zika, and Chikungunya. Thus, experts are using new strategies to genetically manipulate the mosquito population.

Genetically engineered mosquitoes were successfully developed by scientists from Mexico using microparticle bombardment. The details of their study are released in Insect Molecular Biology.

 

Mosquitoes are known vectors of life-threatening diseases such as Malaria, Yellow Fever, Dengue, Zika, and Chikungunya. Thus, experts are using new strategies to genetically manipulate the mosquito population. However, such techniques cause a research bottleneck because of low efficiency, the need for complicated equipment, and highly skilled manpower. Thus, researchers from Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del IPN tried transgenerational genetic transformation of Aedes aegypti, using the particle inflow gun, by integrating the ecfp gene in the AAEL000582 mosquito gene with the CRISPR‐Cas9 technique. This led to a mean efficiency of 44.5% of bombarded individuals (G0) that exhibited ECFP expression in their tissues, and a mean of 28.5% transformation efficiency measured on G1 individuals. The same strategy was used on Anopheles albimanus genome, achieving a mean efficiency of 43.25% of bombarded individuals (G0) that exhibited EGFP expression in their tissues. However, inheritance of the transgene was observed in the succeeding generation only on Ae. aegypti, because transformed An. albimanus individuals did not survive at the pupal stage of the G0 generation.

 

For more information, read the original article in Insect Molecular Biology.

Figure 1. Effect of plasmid-coated dry particles bombarded at 450 psi pressure on eggs of An. albimanus, using the PDS system, as compared with the effect of plasmid-coated wet particles  bombarded at 40 psi, using the PIG system, and the effect of vacuum conditions (10 and 20 in Hg) eggs were exposed to, during the shot. Letters on columns describe statistical differences between the same type of data (bombarded eggs, number of hatched eggs, and % of hatched eggs).

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