The Anopheles gambiae vitellogenin gene (VGT2) promoter directs persistent accumulation of a reporter gene product in transgenic Anopheles stephensi following multiple bloodmeals.
Chen X-G., Marinotti O., Whitman L., Jasinskiene N., James AA., Romans P.
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.