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THE ANOPHELES GAMBIAE VITELLOGENIN GENE (VGT2) PROMOTER DIRECTS PERSISTENT ACCUMULATION OF A REPORTER GENE PRODUCT IN TRANSGENIC ANOPHELES STEPHENSI FOLLOWING MULTIPLE BLOODMEALS

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  • 1 Department of Parasitology, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guang Zhou, GD 510515, P.R. China; Department of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697-3900; Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, University of California, CA 92697-4025
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Mosquitoes made resistant to pathogens through genetic engineering are proposed as a basis for developing a strategy to control disease transmission. Transgenic approaches that introduce exogenous antipathogen effector genes into mosquito genomes require cis-acting regulatory DNA to control tissue-, stage-, and sex-specific transgene expression. We show that control sequences derived from a vitellogenin-encoding gene of Anopheles gambiae, a major vector in sub-Saharan Africa, can direct expression of an exogenous gene in a tissue-, stage-, and sex-specific manner in Anopheles stephensi, a vector of urban malaria in southern Asia. Specific reporter gene expression was observed in fat-body tissues of transgenic blood-fed females, but not in transgenic males or non-blood-fed transgenic females. Multiple bloodmeals resulted in the continuous presence of reporter gene transcripts for at least 12 days. The persistent expression makes the heterologous promoter a good candidate for controlling transcription of engineered antipathogen effector genes in this important malaria vector.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Anthony A. James, Department of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, 3205 McGaugh Hall, University of California, Irvine CA 92697-3900, Telephone: +1 (949) 824-5930, Fax: +1 (949) 824-2814, E-mail: aajames@uci.edu.
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