2016 Volume 10 Issue 6 Pages 424-432
Mosquitoes pose a major threat to human health as they spread many deadly diseases like malaria, dengue, chikungunya, filariasis, Japanese encephalitis and Zika. Identification and use of novel molecular tools are essential to combat the spread of vector borne diseases. Genome editing tools have been used for the precise alterations of the gene of interest for producing the desirable trait in mosquitoes. Deletion of functional genes or insertion of toxic genes in vector mosquitoes will produce either knock-out or knock-in mutants that will check the spread of vector-borne diseases. Presently, three types of genome editing tools viz., zinc finger nuclease (ZFN), transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALEN) and clustered regulatory interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR associated protein 9 (Cas9) are widely used for the editing of the genomes of diverse organisms. These tools are also applied in vector mosquitoes to control the spread of vector-borne diseases. A few studies have been carried out on genome editing to control the diseases spread by vector mosquitoes and more studies need to be performed with the utilization of more recently invented tools like CRISPR/Cas9 to combat the spread of deadly diseases by vector mosquitoes. The high specificity and flexibility of CRISPR/Cas9 system may offer possibilities for novel genome editing for the control of important diseases spread by vector mosquitoes. In this review, we present the current status of genome editing research on vector mosquitoes and also discuss the future applications of vector mosquito genome editing to control the spread of vectorborne diseases.