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Science. 2003 Feb 21;299(5610):1225-7.

Impact of genetic manipulation on the fitness of Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes.

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Department of Biological Sciences, SAF Building, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK.


Genetic modification of mosquitoes offers exciting possibilities for controlling malaria, but success will depend on how transformation affects the fitness of modified insects. The expression of an exogenous gene, the mutations caused by its insertion, and inbreeding while transformed lines are established can all lead to reductions in fitness. Factors influencing fitness were investigated in cage experiments with four lines of transgenic Anopheles stephensi, a vector species of human malaria. The results indicate direct costs of the introduced transgene in at least three out of the four lines, as well as an apparent cost of the inbreeding involved in making transgenic homozygotes.

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