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PLoS One. 2013 May 14;8(5):e62711. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062711. Print 2013.

Fitness of transgenic mosquito Aedes aegypti males carrying a dominant lethal genetic system.

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Unité Insectes et Maladies Infectieuses, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.


OX513A is a transgenic strain of Aedes aegypti engineered to carry a dominant, non-sex-specific, late-acting lethal genetic system that is repressed in the presence of tetracycline. It was designed for use in a sterile-insect (SIT) pest control system called RIDL® (Release of Insects carrying a Dominant Lethal gene) by which transgenic males are released in the field to mate with wild females; in the absence of tetracycline, the progeny from such matings will not survive. We investigated the mating fitness of OX513A in the laboratory. Male OX513A were as effective as Rockefeller (ROCK) males at inducing refractoriness to further mating in wild type females and there was no reduction in their ability to inseminate multiple females. They had a lower mating success but yielded more progeny than the wild-type comparator strain (ROCK) when one male of each strain was caged with a ROCK female. Mating success and fertility of groups of 10 males-with different ratios of RIDL to ROCK-competing for five ROCK females was similar, but the median longevity of RIDL males was somewhat (18%) lower. We conclude that the fitness under laboratory conditions of OX513A males carrying a tetracycline repressible lethal gene is comparable to that of males of the wild-type comparator strain.

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