Reproductive Biology of Male Aedes Mosquitoes for SIT Applications

Open for proposals

Project Type

Coordinated Research Project

Project Code

D44005

CRP

2326

Approved Date

24 June 2022

Status

2 - New - Collecting or Evaluating proposals

Description

The application of the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) in area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM) programmes continues to increase in response to requests from Member States. These requests include the development and refinement of the SIT package for mosquitoes as an innovative and sustainable approach, for controlling mosquito vector populations to improve human health by reducing the burden of mosquito-borne diseases. The success of an SIT pilot project and subsequent the operational application as a key component of a control strategies against human disease vectors depends critically on the efficiency of released irradiated male mosquitoes to effectively compete with wild males in mating with wild females to suppress target populations. In the workflow process from production to release of the sterile males, several abiotic and biotic factors can affect the male sexual performance in the field that may compromise the effectiveness of the SIT. Since the SIT is based on reducing the birth rate of the target population, it is crucial to understand various aspects of the natural history and reproductive biology of Aedes mosquitoes under field conditions. This CRP will focus on key knowledge gaps on male mosquito reproductive biology, particularly investigating the factors that contribute to the mating success of sterile males in SIT programmes, such as  precopulatory behaviour, copulation and insemination, and female remating.

Objectives

Characterize the mating system from the male perspective and determine how natural factors, and those related to SIT application, affect male sexual performance.

Specific objectives

Characterize pre-copulatory behaviour in laboratory and natural conditions.

Study copulation and insemination processes.

Determine patterns of female remating and factors that control it.

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