Researchers convert female mosquitoes to nonbiting males with implications for mosquito control
Virginia Tech researchers have proven that a single gene can convert female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes into fertile male mosquitoes and identified a gene needed for male mosquito flight
Male mosquitoes do not bite and are unable to transmit pathogens to humans. Female mosquitoes, on the other hand, are able to bite.
Female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes require blood to produce eggs, making them the prime carriers of the pathogens that cause Zika and dengue fever in humans.
“The presence of a male-determining locus (M locus) establishes the male sex in Aedes aegypti and the M locus is only inherited by the male offspring, much like the human Y chromosome,” said Zhijian Tu, a professor in the Department of Biochemistry in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
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