Cost of Mating and Insemination Capacity of a Genetically Modified Mosquito <i>Aedes aegypti</i> OX513A Compared to Its Wild Type Counterpart
Koella, Jacob C
PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2011/6/10/e26086
The idea of implementing genetics-based insect control strategies modelled on the traditional SIT is becoming increasingly popular. In this paper we compare a genetically modified line of <i>Aedes aegypti</i> carrying a tetracycline repressible, lethal positive feedback system (OX513A) with its wild type counterpart with respect to their insemination capacities and the cost of courtship and mating. Genetically modified males inseminated just over half as many females as the wild type males during their lifetime. Providing days of rest from mating had no significant effect on the total number of females inseminated by males of either line, but it did increase their longevity. Producing sperm had a low cost in terms of energy investment; the cost of transferring this sperm to a receptive female was much higher. Continued mating attempts with refractory females suggest that males could not identify refractory females before investing substantial energy in courtship. Although over a lifetime OX513A males inseminated fewer females, the number of females inseminated over the first three days, was similar between males of the two lines, suggesting that the identified cost of RIDL may have little impact on the outcome of SIT-based control programmes with frequent releases of the genetically modified males.
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