Image of the Day: Glowing Larva

Scientists recognized a gene in mosquitoes that moderates their vulnerability to malaria parasite infection.

A. gambiae transgenic larva Y. DONG ET AL. Scientist reported the other day (March 8) in PLOS Pathogens that suspending the gene FREP1 lowered mosquitoes’ ( Anopheles gambiae) vulnerability to Plasmodium, the parasite that triggers malaria in people.

When an A. gambiae mosquito takes in a Plasmodium in a blood meal, the parasite goes through a complex infection cycle as it takes a trip to its host’s salivary gland, from where it contaminates people. The Plasmodium‘s capability to finish this cycle counts on the activity of numerous of the mosquito’s proteins. Utilizing CRISPR-Cas9, the group from Johns Hopkins University suspended the gene encoding fibrinogen-related protein 1 ( FREP1), a target they had actually formerly recognized as being associated with the infection procedure. They discovered that knocking out the gene reduced Plasmodium infection in mosquitoes. In their paper, the scientists compose that the strategy is “a possibly effective method” to producing infection-resistant mosquitoes.

Y. Dong et al., “CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene knockout of Anopheles gambiae FREP1 reduces malaria parasite infection,” PLOS Pathogens, doi: 10.1371/ journal.ppat.1006898, 2018.

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