Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Mosquitoes: a defect in their genes, the scientific discovery that can prevent their reproduction

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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These harmful invasive insects and disease vectors can be controlled at their reproductive level.

In addition to the inconvenience caused by mosquitoes calling themselves during our beautiful summer evenings and also during the night, these insects are a real public health problem.

We can certainly do without the discomfort of some itchy blisters, but above all they carry many diseases such as dengue, chikungunya or Zika, among the main ones.

Researchers from Riverside University in California, US, have discovered what they call the Achilles heel of mosquitoes.

In their study published June 1 in the scientific journal PNASThey explained that they had identified a solution to prevent puberty. This would prevent them from being able to reproduce and thus reproduce.

A history of proteins

To achieve their ability to reproduce, insects need a steroid hormone called ecdysone. Therefore, this hormone is necessary for all types of insects, as I mentioned CV.

Most insects need four proteins to transport this hormone into cells, one of which is essential.

But in a mosquito there will be only three. And the insect lacking it is the most widespread and most effective among other insects.

A genetic test shows that this gene is not present

Looking at the different genomes of different insect species, this gene is only missing in mosquitoes.

“They do not have this transporter membrane, but ecdyson is still important for them to grow and reproduce,” the researchers explained in the publication.

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Block the three proteins to block the hormone

This genetic characteristic, which is unique to mosquitoes, means that scientists can create new insecticides to target them without affecting other animals.

So if entomologists are able to develop some kind of blocker for the three proteins, those that are beneficial to mosquitoes, but not essential to other insects, they can thus control mosquito breeding.

In fact, this will prevent them from producing the hormone that allows them to reach sexual maturity and thus reproduce without affecting other insects.

Because another protein allows the production and transport of the hormone in other insects.

Thus, this defect in this protein will be the answer to the ever-increasing reproduction of mosquitoes.

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