ID CALL I-MOVE-2012-2
Clelia Oliva, PhD: Reproduction in two disease-vector mosquito species: mechanisms of sperm management and strain variation
ID CALL
I-MOVE-2012-2

Clelia Oliva, PhD

Proposal Title
Reproduction in two disease-vector mosquito species: mechanisms of sperm management and strain variation

Proposal Abstract
This proposal aims to enrich the body of knowledge about the reproductive biology of mosquitoes and is integrated in the increasing health concern raised by the recent invasion and rapid spread of the dengue and chikungunya vector Aedes albopictus in Europe. Understanding the mechanisms involved, and the variation in the mosquito reproduction capacity, is of great importance for mosquito-transmitted disease management. This research focuses on two medically important mosquito species: a vector of human malaria parasites, Anopheles gambiae s.s., and the principle vector of dengue and chikungunya viruses, Ae. albopictus.
The first main objectives of this proposal are to elucidate the physiological mechanisms of the transfer, storage, and use of sperm by female mosquito using transgenic fluorescent sperm marking. In addition to an important contribution to the fundamental knowledge on mosquito reproduction biology, this will also support novel approaches that focus on manipulating disease-vector’s female behavior or altering reproduction to reduce mosquito populations and disease burden. A second objective is to determine whether male’s reproductive success is equal between different populations of a same species (Ae. albopictus) or varies as a function of their relatedness. These outcomes will have considerable implication for population control programs that include the release of laboratory-reared strains, and will be of high interest for European countries where Ae. albopictus could or has recently settled.

OLIVA C. F., D. DAMIENS, and M.Q. BENEDICT. 2013. Male reproductive biology of Aedes mosquitoes. Acta Trop. In press,
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actatropica.2013.11.021

OLIVA C. F., M.J.B VREYSEN, S. DUPE, R.S. LEES, J. GILLES, L-C GOUAGNA, and R CHHEM. 2013. Current status and future challenges for controlling malaria with the sterile insect technique: Technical and social perspectives. Acta Trop. In press,
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actatropica.2013.11.019

OLIVA C. F., D. DAMIENS, M.J.B VREYSEN, G. LEMPÉRIÈRE, and J. GILLES. 2013. Reproductive Strategies of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) and Implications for the Sterile Insect Technique. PLoS ONE 8(11): e78884.
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0078884

OLIVA C. F., M.J. MAIER, J. GILLES, M. JACQUET, G. LEMPÉRIÈRE, S. QUILICI, M.J.B. VREYSEN, F. SCHONEMANN, D. CHADEE, and S. BOYER. 2013. Effects of irradiation, presence of females, and immediate sugar supply on the longevity of sterile males Aedes albopictus under semi-field conditions on Reunion Island.  Acta Trop. 125:287–293.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actatropica.2012.11.010

OLIVA C. F., M. JACQUET, J. GILLES, G. LEMPÉRIÈRE, P.O. MAQUART, S. QUILICI, F. SCHONEMANN, M.J.B. VREYSEN, and S. BOYER. 2012. Mating vigour of sterilized males Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) on Reunion Island. PLoS ONE 7:e49414.
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0049414

OLIVA C. F., M. Q BENEDICT, S.M. SOLIBAN, G. LEMPÉRIÈRE BALESTRINO, F. and J. GILLES. 2012. Comparisons of life history characteristics of a genetic sexing strain with laboratory strains of Anopheles arabiensis (Culicidae: Diptera) from Northern Sudan. Journal of Medical Entomology 49:1045-1051
http://www.bioone.org/doi/pdf/10.1603/ME11292

OLIVA C. F., M. Q BENEDICT, G. LEMPÉRIÈRE and J. GILLES. 2011. Laboratory selection for an accelerated mosquito sexual development rate. Malaria Journal 10:135.
http://www.malariajournal.com/content/10/1/135

YAMADA H., M. Q BENEDICT, MALCOLM C.A., OLIVA C. F., S.M. SOLIBAN, and J. GILLES. 2012. Genetic sex separation of the malaria vector, Anopheles arabiensis, by exposing eggs to dieldrin. Malaria Journal 11:208.
http://www.malariajournal.com/content/11/1/208

ID CALL I-MOVE-2012-2
Rosemary Lees: Development of a protocol for rapid and sensitive assessment of male mosquito competitiveness in preparation for use in genetic control programmes.
ID CALL
I-MOVE-2012-2

Rosemary Lees

Proposal Title
Development of a protocol for rapid and sensitive assessment of male mosquito competitiveness in preparation for use in genetic control programmes.

Proposal Abstract
Novel methods are required to control transmission of malaria by vector mosquito Anopheles gambiae, and the use of genetically modified mosquito releases is proposed. Such methods rely on the released males being able to survive, disperse and compete with wild males to successfully mate with wild females. The factors determining male mating success are unclear, and this project will seek to elucidate the most important predictive characteristics of a competitive male mosquito. A rapid, user-friendly assay will then be developed to sensitively and accurately assess new strains of mosquito as they are produced, for example strains engineered with homing endonuclease genes which produce sex distortion or male sterility for population control. The ability of this assay to predict performance of males in the field will be confirmed through experiments conducted in a large contained facility able to simulate field conditions.

1. A Female-Specific Flightless Phenotype for Mosquito Control (2010)Lees RS*, Fu G*, Nimmo D*, Aw D, Jin L, Gray P, Berendonk TU, White-Cooper H, Scaife S, Phuc HK, Marinotti O, Jasinskiene N, James AA, Alphey L. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 107(10): 4550-4554.

2. Density-dependent effects in experimental larval populations of Anopheles arabiensis (Diptera: Culicidae) can be negative, neutral, or overcompensatory depending on density and diet levels. (2011). Lees RS*, Gilles J*, Soliban S, Benedict MQ. Journal of Medical Entomology 48(2): 296-304.

3. Late-acting Dominant Lethal Genetic Systems and Mosquito Control (2007). Phuc HK, Andreasen MH, Burton RS, Vass C, Epton MJ, Pape G, Fu G, Condon KC, Scaife S, Donnelly CA, Coleman PG, White-Cooper H, Alphey L. BMC Biology 5:11.

4. Use of Multiple Data Sources to Estimate the Economic Cost of Dengue Illness in Malaysia (2013). Donald S. Shepard, Eduardo A. Undurraga, Rosemary Lees, Yara Halasa, Lucy Chai See Lum, Chee Kheong Chong, and Chiu Wan Ng. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 88(3):606.

5. Open Field Release of Genetically Engineered Sterile Male Aedes aegypti in Malaysia (2012). Renaud Lacroix, Andrew R. McKemey, Norzahira Raduan, Lim Kwee Wee, Wong Hong Ming, Teoh Guat Ney, Siti Rahidah A.A., Sawaluddin Salman, Selvi Subramaniam, Oreenaiza Nordin, Norhaida Hanum A.T., Chandru Angamuthu, Suria Marlina Mansor, Rosemary S. Leeset al. PLoS ONE 7(8): e42771.

6. Genetic technologies to enhance the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) (2009). Alphey L, Baker P, Burton R, Condon G, Condon K, Dafa’alla T, Epton M, Fu G, Gong P, Jin L, Labbé G, Morrison N, Nimmo D, O’Connell S, Phillips C, Plackett A, Scaife S, Woods A. Fruit Flies of Economic Importance: From Basic to Applied Knowledge, Proceedings of the 7th International Symposium on Fruit Flies of Economic Importance 10-15 September 2006, Salvador, Brazil: 319-326.

7. Fitness of transgenic mosquito Aedes aegypti males carrying a dominant lethal genetic system (2013). Blandine Massonnet-Bruneel, Nicole Corre-Catelin, Renaud Lacroix, Rosemary S. Lees, Hoang Kim Phuc, Derric Nimmo, Luke Alphey, Paul Reiter. PLoS ONE  8(5): e62711.

8. Efficiency of Three Artificial Diets for Larval Development in Mass Rearing Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) (2013). A. Puggioli, F. Balestrino, D. Damiens, R.S. Lees, S.M. Soliban, O. Madakacherry, M. L. Dindo, R. Bellini, J. R. L. Gilles. Journal of Medical Entomology 50(4): 819-825.

9. Occurrence of natural Anopheles arabiensis swarms in an urban area of Bobo-Dioulasso city, Burkina Faso, West Africa. Dabiré K.R., Sawadogo P.S., Hien D.F., Millogo A., Maïga H., Baldet T., Simard F., Gouagna L-C., Gibson G., Lees R., Diabaté A., Gilles J. Acta Tropica 130: 44-50.

10. Competitiveness of irradiated Aedes albopictus males in laboratory and semi field conditions (2013). Odessa Madakacherry, Rosemary Lees and Jeremie Gilles. Acta Tropica (In press) 

11. Role of nutritional reserves and body size in Anopheles gambiae males mating success (2013).  Hamidou Maiga, Abdoulaye Niang, Simon Sawadogo, Roch Dabiré, Rosemary Susan Lees, Jeremie Gilles, Frédéric Tripet and Abdoulaye Diabaté. Acta Tropica (In press).

12. Four years surveys of swarming and mating systems in natural populations of Anopheles gambiae M and S forms in area of sympatry, Burkina Faso (West Africa) (2013). Sawadogo P.S., Diabaté A., Gnankinié O., Toé KH., Rouamba J., Ouari A., Baldet T., Simard F., Costantini C., Lees R., Gilles J., Gibson G., Dabiré K.R. Acta Tropica 130: 24–34.

13. Two step male release strategy using transgenic mosquito lines to control transmission of vector-borne diseases (2013). Carvalho D.O., Costa-da-Silva A.L., Lees R.S., Capurro M.L. Acta Tropica 130 : (In press).

14. Occurrence of natural Anopheles arabiensis swarms in an urban area of Bobo-Dioulasso city, Burkina Faso, West Africa (2013). Dabiré K.R., Sawadogo P.S., Hien D.F., Bimbilé-Somda N.S., Soma D.D., Millogo A., Baldet T., Gouagna L.C., Simard F., Lefèvre T., Diabaté A., Lees R.S., Gilles J. Acta Tropica 130 : (In press).

15. Swarming behaviour in natural populations of Anopheles gambiae and An. coluzzii: Review of 4 years survey in rural areas of sympatry, Burkina Faso (West Africa) (2013). Sawadogo P.S., Namountougou M., Toé K.H., Rouamba J., Maïga H., Ouédraogo K.R., Baldet T., Gouagna L.C., Kengne P., Simard F., Costantini C., Gibson G., Diabaté A., Lees R.S., Gilles J., Dabiré K.R. Acta Tropica 130 : (In press).

16. Aedes albopictus (Skuse) males in laboratory and semi-field cages: Release ratios and mating competitiveness (2013). Madakacherry O., Lees R.S., Gilles J.R. Acta Tropica 130 : (In press) 

17. Current status and future challenges for controlling malaria with the sterile insect technique: Technical and social perspectives (2013). Oliva C.F., Vreysen M.J., Dupé S., Lees R.S., Gilles J.R., Gouagna L.C., Chhem R. Acta Tropica 130 : (In press).

18. Guidelines to site selection for population surveillance and mosquito control trials: A case study from Mauritius (2013). Iyaloo D.P., Elahee K.B., Bheecarry A., Lees R.S. Acta Tropica 130 : (In press).

19. Review: Improving our knowledge of male mosquito biology in relation to genetic control programmes (2013).  Lees R.S., Knols B., Bellini R., Benedict M.Q., Bheecarry A., Bossin H.C., Chadee D.D., Charlwood J., Dabiré R.K., Djogbenou L., Egyir-Yawson A., Gato R., Gouagna L.C., Hassan M.M., Khan S.A., Koekemoer L.L., Lemperiere G., Manoukis N.C., Mozuraitis R., Pitts R.J., Simard F., Gilles J. Acta Tropica 130 : (In press).

20. Swarming behaviour in natural populations of Anopheles gambiae and An. coluzzii: Review of 4 years survey in rural areas of sympatry, Burkina Faso (West Africa) (2013). Sawadogo P.S., Namountougou M., Toé K.H., Rouamba J., Maïga H., Ouédraogo K.R., Baldet T., Gouagna L.C., Kengne P., Simard F., Costantini C., Gibson G., Diabaté A., Lees R.S., Gilles J., Dabiré K.R. Acta Tropica 130 : (In press).

21. Occurrence of natural Anopheles arabiensis swarms in an urban area of Bobo-Dioulasso city, Burkina Faso, West Africa (2013). Dabiré K.R., Sawadogo P.S., Hien D.F., Bimbilé-Somda N.S., Soma D.D., Millogo A., Baldet T., Gouagna L.C., Simard F., Lefèvre T., Diabaté A., Lees R.S., Gilles J. Acta Tropica 130 : (In press).

 22. Role of nutritional reserves and body size in Anopheles gambiae males mating success (2013). Maïga H., Niang A., Sawadogo S.P., Dabiré R.K., Lees R.S., Gilles J., Tripet F., Diabaté A. Acta Tropica 130 : (In press).

 

ID CALL I-MOVE-2012-2
Philippos Papathanos: Dissecting the genetic mechanism of sex determination during embryogenesis in the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae
ID CALL
I-MOVE-2012-2

Philippos Papathanos

Proposal Title
Dissecting the genetic mechanism of sex determination during embryogenesis in the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae

Proposal Abstract
Females of the An. gambiae mosquito, the principal African malaria vector, inflict an enormous burden on human health, global socio-economic advancement and stability. Their control represents a major future challenge since the arsenal of tools currently available to restrain disease transmission are rapidly becoming inadequate due to the evolution and spread of resistance mechanisms. Recent advances in genetics and synthetic biology now offer a much-needed potential alternative: a suite of control strategies based on engineering genetic modifications in the genomes of wild populations that can generate disease-resistant phenotypes or eliminate populations altogether.

Unravelling the mechanisms that orchestrate sex determination in this mosquito holds great promise to enhance the development of such genetic control strategies. Moreover, analogous studies in other species have shed light on the evolutionary forces that shape sexual differentiation, sexual conflict and speciation in the animal kingdom. MozSex will focus on characterising the primary signals of sex determination in An. gambiae during early embryonic development. During this stage differential expression is likely to be limited to a few, possibly transiently expressed genes that determine and memorize the resolution as to whether a newly laid egg will develop into a disease-transmitting female or a nectar-feeding male. The experimental approach, which combines state-of-the-art in mosquito transgenic technology for sex discrimination with high-throughput RNA sequencing platforms, will overcome current technical limitations that have hampered similar explorations thus far. I anticipate that our findings will coincide with a demonstration of the powerful use of GMOs to control such devastating diseases and will enhance such future interventions by offering candidate genes that are critical for the fertility and reproduction of wild populations.

1. Homing endonuclease mediated gene targeting in Anopheles gambiae cells and embryos. Papathanos PA *, Windbichler N, Catteruccia F, Ranson H, Burt A, Crisanti A. Nucleic Acids Res. 2007;35(17):5922-33. Epub 2007 Aug 28.

2. Targeting the X chromosome during spermatogenesis induces Y chromosome transmission ratio distortion and early dominant embryo lethality in Anopheles gambiae. Papathanos PA *, Windbichler N, Crisanti A. PLoS Genet. 2008 Dec;4(12):e1000291. Epub 2008 Dec 5.

3. The vasa regulatory region mediates germline expression and maternal transmission of proteins in the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae: a versatile tool for genetic control strategies. Papathanos PA*, Windbichler N, Menichelli M, Burt A, Crisanti A. BMC Mol Biol. 2009 Jul 2;10:65.

4. A synthetic homing endonuclease-based gene drive system in the human malaria mosquito. Windbichler N, Menichelli M, Papathanos PA, Thyme SB, Li H, Ulge UY, Hovde BT, Baker D, Monnat RJ Jr, Burt A, Crisanti A. Nature. 2011 May 12;473(7346):212-5. Epub 2011 Apr 20.

5. A germline tools-box for Aedes aegypti genetic drive mechanisms. Papathanos PA, Akbari O, Hay BA. In preparation

Reviews

ID CALL I-MOVE-2012-2
Vicky Dritsou: A tool for the comparative analysis of medically important RNA profiling experiments
ID CALL
I-MOVE-2012-2

Vicky Dritsou

Proposal Title
A tool for the comparative analysis of medically important RNA profiling experiments

Proposal Abstract
This proposal addresses the development of an analytical IT tool, i.e. a software pipeline (Genexprof) for the comparative evaluation of the results of medically important RNA profiling experiments, performed using up-to-date high throughput technology. These experiments include both microarray hybridizations and, most importantly, RNAseq studies, and the analysis tool proposed is completely based on a bioinformatics approach. The purpose is to be able to compare the expression of genes and/or sets of genes across species using the results of experiments that discriminated the expression pattern comparing medically relevant “situations” (e.g. diseases such as cancer or particular syndromes, genetic disorders-phenotypes, etc.) to one another. Naturally, the aim is to be able to determine an underlying association of the gene set under study to pathological conditions.

Ideally, in the future such an IT tool, or a further development, could be used as a means for clinical diagnosis.

List of five most recent publications of Dr. Vicky Dritsou:

1. Vicky Dritsou, Pantelis Topalis, Elvira Mitraka, Emmanuel Dialynas and Christos Louis: miRNAO: Unfolding the Domain of microRNAs (2014). In press.

2. Pantelis Topalis, Elvira Mitraka, Vicky Dritsou, Emmanuel Dialynas and Christos Louis: IDOMAL: the malaria ontology revisited. In Journal of Biomedical Semantics 2013, 4(1):16.

3. Vicky Dritsou, Elvira Mitraka, Pantelis Topalis, Christos Louis: Getting the Best from Two Worlds: Converting Between OBO and OWL Formats. In Proceedings of OWL: Experiences and Directions Workshop 2012 (OWLED 2012).

4. Vicky Dritsou, Panos Constantopoulos, Antonios Deligiannakis, Yannis Kotidis: Optimizing Query Shortcuts in RDF Databases. In Proceedings of the 8th Extended Semantic Web Conference (ESWC 2011), LNCS: Vol. 6644, pp. 77-92.

5. Vicky Dritsou, Panos Constantopoulos, Antonios Deligiannakis, Yannis Kotidis: selection in RDF databases. In Workshops Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Data Engineering (ICDE 2011), pp. 194-199.