You are here
Mosquitoes are known to possess many symbiotic bacteria and viruses. Recent research has focused on using these symbionts to control or investigate host biology. While some symbionts are naturally able to change aspects such as disease susceptibility, genetic modification of other symbionts may provide insights into host molecular pathways or allow for the development of new control methods.
My research focuses on genetically modifying a symbiotic virus (known as AgDNV) of the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae to express genetic information within the host. Specifically I am focusing on endogenous microRNAs, microRNA sponges, and small genes. By expressing such genetic information from a persistent virus, I hope to alter mosquito biology in a long-term manner. Through targeting aspects of the mosquito immune system, egg laying pathway, or blood digestion, I hope to disrupt important areas of mosquito biology in a measurable way. This work and viral tool may have implications for mosquito or disease control as well as basic mosquito molecular biology.
- Suzuki Y, Barik TK, Johnson RM, and Rasgon JL. In vitro and in vivo host range of Anopheles gambiae densovirus (AgDNV). Nature Scientific Reports. 5, 1-6 (2015). DOI: 10.1038/srep12701
- Hughes GL, Dodson BL, and Johnson RM, et al., Native microbiome impedes vertical transmission of Wolbachia in Anopheles mosquitoes. PNAS. 111 (34), 12498–12503 (2014). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1408888111