Fitness of the transgenic malaria-refractory mosquito Anopheles gambiae

The African mosquito Anopheles gambiae is the insect vector the reason for 1 / 2 of global malaria infections. One alternative for lowering malaria is genetic manipulation of the vector. By creating transgenic mosquitoes not capable of spreading the malaria pathogen, the human-mosquito-human cycle of infection might be disrupted. To ensure the engineered Plasmodium-refractory mosquitoes to succeed they need to be able to survive in nature and to compete successfully with nontransformed conspecifics. Two lines of transgenic An. gambiae were utilized in this research to examine the fitness consequences of transgenesis in this insect. Life table properties of 2 transformed An. gambiae lines were compared to a control line to find out if fitness costs were present. Specific traits measures between transgenic and control mosquitoes weren’t substantially different, and the transgenic lines didn’t have proof of position effects…

Contents: Transgenic malaria-refractory mosquito Anopheles gambiae

The mala ria problem
Malaria transmission
Mosquito transformation
Fitness costs
Establishing transformed lines
Experimental design
Intrinsic rate of increase (r)
Larval duration
Adult duration, longevity and survivorship curves
Egg hatch rate
Expression of transgene may influence costs
Factors that may outweigh fitness costs
Costs of carrying Plasmodium
Host manipulation
Ecological models
Transgenic Mosquitoes: Challenges and Promises

Source: University of Maryland

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