Development of a pan-neuronal genetic driver in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

Zhilei Zhao, David Tian, Carolyn S. McBride

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The recent development of neurogenetic tools in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes is beginning to shed light on the neural basis of behaviors that make this species a major vector of human disease. However, we still lack a pan-neuronal expression driver—a key tool that provides genetic access to all neurons. Here, we describe our efforts to fill this gap via CRISPR/Cas9-mediated knock-in of reporters to broadly expressed neural genes and report on the generation of two strains, a Syt1:GCaMP6s strain that expresses synaptically localized GCaMP and a brp-T2A-QF2w driver strain that can be used to drive and amplify expression of any effector via the Q binary system. Both manipulations broadly and uniformly label the nervous system with only modest effects on behavior. We expect these strains to facilitate neurobiological research in Ae. aegypti mosquitoes and document both successful and failed manipulations as a roadmap for similar tool development in other non-model species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100042
JournalCell Reports Methods
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 26 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Biotechnology
  • Computer Science Applications


  • Aedes aegypti
  • CRISPR/Cas9
  • Q binary system
  • expression driver
  • genetic tools
  • mosquito
  • neurobiology
  • pan-neuronal


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