PNAS · 2011/08/09

摘要:一项研究提出,把无精子的雄性冈比亚按蚊(Anopheles gambiae)释放到环境中可能有助于阻止疟疾传播。Janis Thailayil及其同事通过关闭制造精子所需的一种基因从而让雄蚊绝育。当他们让这些雄蚊与雌蚊相遇之后,这些雄蚊正常地交配,让它们的伴侣产生了典型的行为变化,诸如在摄取血液之后产卵,而且不愿意再次交配。然而,这些雌蚊产下的卵并没有受精,因此也不会孵化。这些发现提示,这类雌蚊在之后的生活中不再交配,尽管这组作者指出这种现象并没有在该研究中绝对地表现出来。广泛释放无精子蚊子有可能阻止它们的种群增长并且减少疟疾暴发的机会。尽管此前对果蝇的研究提示需要精子才能让雌性果蝇产生典型的交配后行为变化,这组作者提出,更加多配偶制的果蝇可能进化出了一个不同的体系,在这个体系中雌性需要精子从而减少再交配的可能性。尽管无精子蚊子代表了一种有前途的代替使用杀虫剂的方法,这组作者警告说,需要进行额外的研究工作。这组作者提出,例如,实验室培养的绝育雄蚊可能比普通雄蚊有某种优势,因为产生精子带来了较高的代谢代价。





Spermless males elicit large-scale female responses to mating in the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae


Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto is the major vector of malaria, a disease with devastating consequences for human health. Given the constant spread of the disease, alternative approaches to the use of insecticides are urgently needed to control vector populations. Females of this species undergo large behavioral changes after mating, which include a life-long refractoriness to further insemination and the induction of egg laying in blood-fed individuals. Genetic control strategies aimed at impacting Anopheles fertility through the release of sterile males are being advocated to reduce the size of mosquito field populations. Such strategies depend on the ability of the released sterile males to mate successfully with wild females and to switch off the female receptivity to further copulation. Here we evaluate the role of sperm in regulating female behavioral responses after mating in An. gambiae. We developed spermless males by RNAi silencing of a germ cell differentiation gene. These males mated successfully and preserved standard accessory gland functions. Females mated to spermless males exhibited normal postcopulatory responses, which included laying large numbers of eggs upon blood feeding and becoming refractory to subsequent insemination. Moreover, spermless males induced transcriptional changes in female reproductive genes comparable to those elicited by fertile males. Our data demonstrate that, in contrast to Drosophila, targeting sperm in An. gambiae preserves normal male and female reproductive behavior for the traits and time frame analyzed and validate the use of approaches based on incapacitation or elimination of sperm for genetic control of vector populations to block malaria transmission.




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