• Scientists have unveiled the detailed genome of the malaria mosquito vector, revealing thousands of new genes vital for the development of genetic control strategies of disease transmission.
• In order to engineer advanced forms of defence against malaria transmission, including targeted CRISPR and gene drive–based strategies, scientists require intricate knowledge of the genomes of vector mosquitoes.
• CRISPR technology is a gene-editing tool which allows researchers to easily alter DNA sequences and modify gene function.
• They produced a new reference genome for the Asian malaria vector mosquito Anopheles stephensi.
• With the newly upgraded Anopheles stephensi genome, the team unearthed more than 3,000 genes that previously evaded scrutiny and which offer fresh gene-drive targets, play key roles in blood feeding and the metabolism of ingested blood meal, reproduction and immunity against microbial parasites.
• This reference genome should help malaria biologists in India, particularly in view of the national goal of malaria elimination in India by 2030.
Mains Paper 3: Science and Tech
Prelims level: Anopheles stephensi genome
Mains level: Read the newsfeed