Biotech Updates

Scientists Wipe Out a Mosquito Population Through Genome-editing

October 3, 2018

Scientist Andrea Crisanti from Imperial College London in the United Kingdom and colleagues edit the doublesex gene in the mosquito malaria vector Anopheles gambiae using CRISPR-Cas9

Through the disruption of intron 4 to exon 5 of the gene, the female version of the gene was not produced, thus conferring sterility. This edited gene was introduced to a population of caged mosquitoes through a construct and spread rapidly among the population. After seven to eleven generations, egg production reduced progressively, and the occurrence of the edited gene among the population reached 100 percent. Variants of the gene were also found in the population, but did not affect the spreading of the edited gene. Total population collapse was observed in the experiment, emphasizing the significant role of gene editing in controlling malaria in countries such as Africa.

For more information, read the article in Nature Biotechnology.