CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing in mosquitos promises future control of vectorborne diseases

Image credit: Bigstock

Image credit: Bigstock


Can vectorborne diseases such as malaria, Zika, dengue fever, yellow fever, and West Nile virus be efficiently and effectively controlled?

  • A gene-editing technique called CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) provides a revolutionary way to modify an organism's genome by precisely editing a targeted region of DNA.
  • Current techniques for CRISPR in arthropod vectors require difficult and inefficient embryonic microinjections to deliver the DNA-editing enzyme (Cas9) that promotes or disables certain traits.


  • Entomologists designed ReMOT Control (Receptor-Mediated Ovary Transduction of Cargo) to improve CRISPR by delivering the Cas9 cargo through an easy injection into the blood of female arthropods.
  • The cargo is introduced into developing eggs via receptors in the ovary.
  • The researchers demonstrated the process by editing the eye color of mosquito offspring.


  • ReMOT Control is a substantial improvement over existing embryo-injection techniques, putting gene-editing capability into the reach of nonspecialist laboratories and potentially revolutionizing the broad application of functional arthropod genetics. The technique drastically reduces the cost of editing genes in arthropods.

Related Research Area: Integrated Health Solutions

Research Credit


  • Jason Rasgon, Duverney Chaverra- Rodriguez, Vanessa Macias, Donghun Kim, Grant Hughes, Sujit Pujhari, Yasutsugu Suzuki, David Peterson, and Sage McKeand

Participating Departments

Competitive Funding

  • NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; National Science Foundation; Pennsylvania Department of Health using Tobacco Settlement Funds

Federal and State Appropriations

  • USDA NIFA Hatch Project PEN04608, Accession #1010032

Emerging Discoveries

Published Research

Targeted delivery of CRISPR-Cas9 ribonucleoprotein into arthropod ovaries for heritable germline gene editing. 

Intellectual Property Profile