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Evaluation of paratransgenesis potential of endosymbiont Asaia sp. in Aedes aegypti and Anopheles stephensi

Grant number: 18/12153-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2018
Effective date (End): December 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Molecular Genetics and Genetics of Microorganisms
Principal Investigator:Paulo Eduardo Martins Ribolla
Grantee:Isabella Ariadne Ferrari Bernardes
Supervisor: Guido Favia
Host Institution: Instituto de Biotecnologia (IBTEC). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Botucatu. Botucatu , SP, Brazil
Research place: Università degli Studi di Camerino (UNICAM), Italy  
Associated to the scholarship:17/18595-1 - Population structuring in Anopheles darlingi: using microbiota as a marker, BP.IC


Malaria represents an important insect-borne disease with an estimated incidence of 216 million cases occurred worldwide and 445 000 deaths globally in 2016. Several factors contribute to the severity and worsening of this illness, among which the emergence of drug-resistant parasites and insecticide-resistant mosquitoes strains. Therefore, an alternative method to control malaria and other insect-borne diseases is paratransgenesis. It has been demonstrated that an ±-proteobacterium of the genus Asaia is stably associated with larvae and adults of Anopheles stephensi and has the main features needed for this technique. Recently, differences were disclosed in the architecture of the strain isolated from field-collected specimens of the South-American malaria vector Anopheles darlingi, and particularly its genome reduction in comparison with other isolates from mosquito species belonging to Anopheles and Aedes genera. This reduction could be due to a longer and more intense evolutionary relationship between symbiont and mosquito host that characterise this association. Therefore, the purpose of this side project is to evaluate the potential of this new Asaia spp. strain in paratrangenesis for Aedes aegypti and Anopheles stephensi by transformation of this Asaia-darlingi strain with GFP (Green Fluorescent protein) gene in order to screen for efficient infection in these vectors. (AU)

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