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The Developmental Transcriptome of Ae. albopictus, a Major Worldwide Human Disease Vector

By Stephanie Gamez, Igor Antoshechkin, Stelia C Mendez-Sanchez, Omar S Akbari

Posted 01 Sep 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/753962 (published DOI: 10.1534/g3.119.401006)

Aedes albopictus mosquitoes are important vectors for a number of human pathogens including the Zika, dengue, and chikungunya viruses. Capable of displacing Aedes aegypti populations, it adapts to cooler environments which increases its geographical range and transmission potential. There are limited control strategies for Aedes albopictus mosquitoes which is likely attributed to the lack of comprehensive biological studies on this emerging vector. To fill this void, here using RNAseq we characterized Aedes albopictus mRNA expression profiles at 47 distinct time points throughout development providing the first high-resolution comprehensive view of the developmental transcriptome of this worldwide human disease vector. This enabled us to identify several patterns of shared gene expression among tissues as well as sex-specific expression patterns. Moreover, to illuminate the similarities and differences between Aedes aegypti, a related human disease vector, we performed a comparative analysis using the two developmental transcriptomes. We identify life stages were the two species exhibited significant differential expression among orthologs. These findings provide insights into the similarities and differences between Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti mosquito biology. In summary, the results generated from this study should form the basis for future investigations on the biology of Aedes albopictus mosquitoes and provide a goldmine resource for the development of transgene-based vector control strategies.

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