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Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2010 Oct 1;2010(10):pdb.emo141. doi: 10.1101/pdb.emo141.

Aedes aegypti: an emerging model for vector mosquito development.

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Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, Indiana University School of Medicine, South Bend, IN 46617, USA.


Blood-feeding mosquitoes, including the dengue and yellow fever vector Aedes aegypti, transmit many of the world's deadliest diseases. Such diseases have resurged in developing countries and pose clear threats for epidemic outbreaks in developed countries. Recent mosquito genome projects have stimulated interest in the potential for arthropod-borne disease control by genetic manipulation of vector insects. Targets of particular interest include genes that regulate development. However, although the Ae. aegypti genome project uncovered homologs of many known developmental regulatory genes, little is known of the genetic regulation of development in Ae. aegypti or other vector mosquitoes. This article provides an overview of the background, husbandry, and potential uses of Ae. aegypti as a model species. Methods for culturing, collecting and fixing developing tissues, analyzing gene and protein expression, and knocking down genes are permitting detailed analyses of the functions of developmental regulatory genes and the selective inhibition of such genes during Ae. aegypti development. This methodology, much of which is applicable to other mosquito species, is useful to both the comparative development and vector research communities.

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