Testis-specific expression of the β2 tubulin promoter of Aedes aegypti and its application as a genetic sex-separation marker


Peter W. Atkinson. Department of Entomology, University of California, 900 University Avenue, Riverside, CA 92521, USA. Tel.: +1 951 827 4782; fax: +1 951 827 3086; e-mail: peter.atkinson@ucr.edu


Sex-specific expression of transgenes in pest insects enables novel genetic control strategies, based either on genetic sexing or the spread of transgenes through the germ-line, to be developed and then tested for implementation. We describe the isolation of the β tubulin genes from the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, and the identification of the particular β2 tubulin gene which has expression confined to the testes. We demonstrate that the β2 tubulin promoter of Ae. aegypti can direct the expression of a DsRed genetic marker in the testes and show that labelled sperm can be detected in inseminated spermathecae. The applications for this technology in the genetic control of Ae. aegypti are discussed.