The vasa regulatory region mediates germline expression and maternal transmission of proteins in the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae: a versatile tool for genetic control strategies

BMC Molecular Biology
Philippos Aris PapathanosAndrea Crisanti

Abstract

Germline specific promoters are an essential component of potential vector control strategies which function by genetic drive, however suitable promoters are not currently available for the main human malaria vector Anopheles gambiae. We have identified the Anopheles gambiae vasa-like gene and found its expression to be specifically localized to both the male and female gonads in adult mosquitoes. We have functionally characterised using transgenic reporter lines the regulatory regions required for driving transgene expression in a pattern mirroring that of the endogenous vasa locus. Two reporter constructs indicate the existence of distinct vasa regulatory elements within the 5' untranslated regions responsible not only for the spatial and temporal but also for the sex specific germline expression. vasa driven eGFP expression in the ovary of heterozygous mosquitoes resulted in the progressive accumulation of maternal protein and transcript in developing oocytes that were then detectable in all embryos and neonatal larvae. We have characterized the vasa regulatory regions that are not only suited to drive transgenes in the early germline of both sexes but could also be utilized to manipulate the zygotic genome of developing emb...Continue Reading

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Related Concepts

Oogenesis
Ovum
Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid
Spermiogenesis
Y-Chromosome-Bearing Sperm
Gene Expression
Genes, Reporter
Recombinant Transgenes
Anopheles gambiae
DEAD-box RNA Helicases

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