Sex-specific expression of Anopheles albimanus spermatogenesis orthologues.
Tropical diseases, such as Malaria, are a long standing companion for humanity. In order to design effective tools to reduce and eventually eliminate the disease, a deep understanding of the physiology and life cycle of vector and parasite is required. As the Plasmodium parasites posses very intricate evasion mechanisms, the most efficient way to eliminate Malaria is to control the Anopheles mosquitoes that transmit the disease. Anopheles albimanus mosquitoes are one of the main Malaria vectors in Latin America, specifically in the Caribbean and Central America, which are endemic regions that are often afflicted with tropical storms and climate conditions that aggravate the situation. As insecticide resistance appears in this region, and in many other parts of the globe, need for improved methodologies, like the sterile insect technique (SIT), increases. The fitness cost of irradiating mosquitoes to sterilize them has been significant, and has restricted the success of its implementation. Here, we characterize the expression of A. albimanus orthologues to zpg (AALB006050) and boule (AALB005972) genes, in order to determine if these could be considered as targets for genetic approaches to induce sterility in this species. Interestingly, both genes were expressed at different stages of the mosquito life cycle. However, zpg had significantly higher expression in adult females, which would make this gene a prime candidate for further studies aiming to use genetic approaches to eliminate the vector. It is relevant to note that, due to the high degree of genetic variation among the Anophelines, and specifically the 100 Ma of separation between An. gambiae (the best studied Anopheline species) and An. albimanus, these results help to shed light over the degree of conservation on the sex determination pathways.