Characterization of a female germline and early zygote promoter from the transcription factor bZip1 in the dengue mosquito Aedes aegypti

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Background The wide distribution of Aedes aegypti, the main vector of dengue and yellow fever viruses, currently puts three billion people in the world at risk of infection with these viruses. Continuous transmission of these and other viruses despite aggressive efforts to prevent this emphasizes the need to develop new control strategies. Proposals to control disease transmission based on vector engineering, including both population suppression and population replacement, rely on the development of transgenes under the control of regulatory elements able to drive molecules in a specific tissue, time and strength.

Methods Here we report the characterization of a promoter active in both the female germline and early zygote, derived from the transcription factor bZip1 in the mosquito Ae. aegypti, using transposon-based methods and RT-qPCR.

Results We generated seven transgenic lines carrying AabZip1-reporter constructs and observed expression in both the ovary and early embryo. RT-qPCR analysis was performed to evaluate transcript expression patterns for each line, confirming that transgenic expression from the AabZip1 promoter largely recapitulated the endogenous expression pattern, albeit the strength of maternal expression appeared to be strongly influenced by chromosomal position.

Conclusions This study provides a new regulatory sequence that can be useful for generating transgenic lines that can become a tool in vector control strategies.

Parasites & Vectors. 2020 Jul 17;13(1):353