Green fluorescent protein as a genetic marker in transgenic Aedes aegypti


Peter W. Atkinson, Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside CA 92521–0314, USA. Tel.: 909–787–4782. Fax: 909–787–3086.


We report here the use of the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) from the jellyfish, Aequorea victoria, as a genetic marker for the genetic transformation of mosquitoes. The EGFP gene, under the control of the actin5C promoter of Drosophila melanogaster was inserted into the Hermes transposable element. Preblastoderm embryos of a wild-type strain of the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, were microinjected with this plasmid, together with a helper plasmid containing the Hermes transposase placed under the control of the D. melanogaster hsp70 promoter. Somatic EGFP expression was observed during early instars in approximately one-half of all G0 individuals. Two G1 individuals arising from a G0 female displayed high levels of EGFP gene expression during all stages of development. EGFP was transmitted in a Mendelian fashion to the G2 and G3 generations and molecular analysis confirmed the presence of the Hermes[actin5C:EGFP] gene in these insects. These results clearly demonstrate that EGFP can be used as an effective genetic marker in wild-type Ae. aegypti and most likely in other mosquito species as well.