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Title: Sex-specific genetic control of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus
Author: Sulston, Edward
ISNI:       0000 0004 6495 3580
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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"One of the deadliest animals in the world", is the description given to the mosquito by the World Health Organisation. Collectively mosquitoes are a vector for a range of pathogens to humans. Recent developments in genetic engineering have demonstrated that the transgenic self-limiting technology developed by Oxitec Ltd can be deployed to reduce populations of Aedes aegypti. The technology uses a transgene that, when inherited, causes lethality if the mosquito does not have access to tetracycline during development. Recent advancements at Oxitec Ltd involve targeting the self-limiting system specifically to females. This allows for males (which are required for a release) to be readily separated from females without the need for costly mechanical separation. The work presented in this thesis aims primarily to further development of the Oxitec Ltd technology in Ae. aegypti and Aedes albopictus. In Ae. aegypti this is achieved through the development of paternal effect, a male specific construct which render the sperm inviable if reared in the absence of tetracycline. This paternal effect is subsequently combined with a genetic sexing strain in an 'all in one' construct, such that when reared in the absence of tetracycline only sterile males are produced. Development in Ae. albopictus comes through characterisation of certain life history traits of the wild type strains currently maintained at Oxitec Ltd. It is important to develop self-limiting insects in a background strain with certain traits, such as the ability to be produced under mass rearing conditions, and sensitivity to insecticides. In conclusion the work presented here represents a major advancement of Oxitec Ltd's self-limiting technology in Ae. aegypti, through production of a genetic sexing strain capable of producing sterile males. In Ae. albopictus wild type characterisation has laid the foundations for future transgenic development in a suitable background strain.
Supervisor: Shimeld, Seb ; Matzen, Kelly Sponsor: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council ; Oxitec Ltd ; INFRAVEC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available