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Science. 2015 Jun 12;348(6240):1268-70. doi: 10.1126/science.aaa2850. Epub 2015 May 21.

SEX DETERMINATION. A male-determining factor in the mosquito Aedes aegypti.

Author information

1
Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Genetics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, VA, USA. Department of Biochemistry, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA. Fralin Life Science Institute, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA.
2
Fralin Life Science Institute, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA. Department of Entomology, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA.
3
Department of Biochemistry, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA. Fralin Life Science Institute, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA.
4
Department of Biochemistry, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA.
5
School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangdong, People's Republic of China.
6
Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Genetics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, VA, USA. Fralin Life Science Institute, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA. Department of Entomology, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA.
7
Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Genetics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, VA, USA. Fralin Life Science Institute, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA. Department of Entomology, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA. jaketu@vt.edu zachadel@vt.edu.
8
Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Genetics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, VA, USA. Department of Biochemistry, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA. Fralin Life Science Institute, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA. jaketu@vt.edu zachadel@vt.edu.

Abstract

Sex determination in the mosquito Aedes aegypti is governed by a dominant male-determining factor (M factor) located within a Y chromosome-like region called the M locus. Here, we show that an M-locus gene, Nix, functions as an M factor in A. aegypti. Nix exhibits persistent M linkage and early embryonic expression, two characteristics required of an M factor. Nix knockout with clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Cas9 resulted in largely feminized genetic males and the production of female isoforms of two key regulators of sexual differentiation: doublesex and fruitless. Ectopic expression of Nix resulted in genetic females with nearly complete male genitalia. Thus, Nix is both required and sufficient to initiate male development. This study provides a foundation for mosquito control strategies that convert female mosquitoes into harmless males.

PMID:
25999371
PMCID:
PMC5026532
DOI:
10.1126/science.aaa2850
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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