Different mechanisms of X-ray irradiation-induced male and female sterility in Aedes aegypti

Zhang, H., Trueman, E., Hou, X. et al.,  BMC Biology,  21. 2023.

Aedes aegypti (Ae. aegypti) is the major vector that transmits many diseases including dengue, Zika, and filariasis in tropical and subtropical regions. Due to the growing resistance to chemical-based insecticides, biological control methods have become an emerging direction to control mosquito populations. The sterile insect technique (SIT) deploys high doses of ionizing radiation to sterilize male mosquitoes before the release. The Wolbachia-based population suppression method of the incompatible insect technique (IIT) involves the release of Wolbachia-infected males to sterilize uninfected field females. Due to the lack of perfect sex separation tools, a low percentage of female contamination is detected in the male population. To prevent the unintentional release of these Wolbachia-infected females which might result in population replacement, a low dose of X-ray irradiation is deployed to sterilize any female escapees. However, it remains unclear whether these irradiation-induced male and female sterilizations share common mechanisms.

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