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Embryo microinjection techniques are essential for many molecular and genetic studies of insect species. They provide a means to introduce exogenous DNA fragments encoding genes of interest as well as favorable traits into the insect germline in a stable and heritable manner. The resulting transgenic strains can be studied for phenotypic changes resulting from the expression of the integrated DNA to answer basic questions or used in practical applications. Although the technology is straightforward, it requires of the investigator patience and practice to achieve a level of skill that maximizes efficiency. Shown here is a method for microinjection of embryos of the African malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. The objective is to deliver by microinjection exogenous DNA to the embryo so that it can be taken up in the developing germline (pole) cells. Expression from the injected DNA of transposases, integrases, recombinases, or other nucleases (for example CRISPR-associated proteins, Cas) can trigger events that lead to its covalent insertion into chromosomes. Transgenic An. gambiae generated from these technologies have been used for basic studies of immune system components, genes involved in blood-feeding, and elements of the olfactory system. In addition, these techniques have been used to produce An. gambiae strains with traits that may help control the transmission of malaria parasites.

Original publication




Journal article


J Vis Exp

Publication Date



Animals, Animals, Genetically Modified, Anopheles, Genetic Techniques, Malaria, Microinjections