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News & Blogs » CRISPR News » Scientists Successfully Created Three-eyed, Wingless Mosquitoes in Real Life
crispr, wing development, eye color, pest control, mosquito, genome editing

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Scientists Successfully Created Three-eyed, Wingless Mosquitoes in Real Life

Feb 1, 2018

Mosquitoes are the major carriers of many arboviruses that can cause illness in human. How to control the population of disease-spreading mosquitoes has long been a challenge for public health researchers. Genetically editing genes involved in mosquito reproduction or self-destruction pathways is proposed to be able to suppress the mosquito population. Rapid developing of the CRISPR/Cas9 technology has encouraged researchers to test the effects of new genome editing approaches in mosquitoes for pest control purposes.

Recently, scientists at the University of California, Riverside successfully developed a transgenic mosquito model that can stably express Cas9 proteins in the germline. To test the efficacy of this model, researchers injected multiply sgRNAs targeting different genes involved in the normal mosquito morphological development into the transgenic mosquito embryos. By disrupting genes involved in vision, flight and feeding control using this approach, they successfully created yellow, wingless transgenic mosquitoes with three white eyes. Their study showed that this transgenic model is able to rapidly and consistently modify target genes. Furthermore, this model can be used to generate mosquitoes with fewer survival or reproductive advantages, thus providing an environmental friendly approach in controlling the mosquito population.

M Li, et al. Germline Cas9 expression yields highly efficient genome engineering in a major worldwide disease vector, Aedes aegypti. PNAS, 2017; DOI:10.1073/pnas.1711538114.

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