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Embryo Microinjection Techniques for Efficient Site-Specific Mutagenesis in Culex quinquefasciatus.

Bui, Michelle; Li, Ming; Raban, Robyn R; Liu, Nannan; Akbari, Omar S.
J Vis Exp; (159)2020 05 24.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32510506
Culex quinquefasciatus is a vector of a diverse range of vector-borne diseases such as avian malaria, West Nile virus (WNV), Japanese encephalitis, Eastern equine encephalitis, lymphatic filariasis, and Saint Louis encephalitis. Notably, avian malaria has played a major role in the extinction of numerous endemic island bird species, while WNV has become an important vector-borne disease in the United States. To gain further insight into C. quinquefasciatus biology and expand their genetic control toolbox, we need to develop more efficient and affordable methods for genome engineering in this species. However, some biological traits unique to Culex mosquitoes, particularly their egg rafts, have made it difficult to perform microinjection procedures required for genome engineering. To address these challenges, we have developed an optimized embryo microinjection protocol that focuses on mitigating the technical obstacles associated with the unique characteristics of Culex mosquitoes. These procedures demonstrate optimized methods for egg collection, egg raft separation and other handling procedures essential for successful microinjection in C. quinquefasciatus. When coupled with the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology, these procedures allow us to achieve site-specific, efficient and heritable germline mutations, which are required to perform advanced genome engineering and develop genetic control technologies in this important, but currently understudied, disease vector.