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Mechanisms of sex determination and transmission ratio distortion in Aedes aegypti

Hoang, Phuc and Teo, Tze Min and Ho, Thien Xuan and Vinh, Le Sy (2016) Mechanisms of sex determination and transmission ratio distortion in Aedes aegypti. Parasites & Vectors, 9 (49). ISSN 1756-3305

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Background: More effective mosquito control strategies are urgently required due to the increasing prevalence of insecticide resistance. The sterile insect technique (SIT) and the release of insects carrying a dominant lethal allele (RIDL) are two proposed methods for environmentally-friendly, species-targeted population control. These methods may be more suitable for developing countries if producers reduce the cost of rearing insects. The cost of control programs could be reduced by producing all-male mosquito populations to circumvent the isolation of females before release without reducing male mating competitiveness caused by transgenes. Results: An RNAi construct targeting the RNA recognition motif of the Aedes aegypti transformer-2 (tra-2) gene does not trigger female-to-male sex conversion as commonly observed among dipterous insects. Instead, homozygous insects show greater mortality among m-chromosome-bearing sperm and mm zygotes, yielding up to 100 % males in the subsequent generations. The performance of transgenic males was not significantly different to wild-type males in narrow-cage competitive mating experiments. Conclusion: Our data provide preliminary evidence that the knockdown of Ae. aegypti tra-2 gene expression causes segregation distortion acting at the level of gametic function, which is reinforced by sex-specific zygotic lethality. This finding could promote the development of new synthetic sex distorter systems for the production of genetic sexing mosquito strains. Keywords: Aedes aegypti, Sex determination, Transformer-2, Meiotic drive, Spermatogenesis, Culicinae

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Information Technology (IT)
ISI-indexed journals
Divisions: Faculty of Information Technology (FIT)
Depositing User: Asso.Prof. Vinh Le
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2016 03:08
Last Modified: 05 Dec 2016 03:08

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