Bacteria genes offer new strategy for sterilizing mosquitoes

wolbachia bacteria
STERILITY CULPRITS Wolbachia bacteria (red) effectively sterilize a male mosquito by infecting the insect’s testes (blue), shown at 100 times magnification. Now, researchers have identified genes that may be responsible for the sterility.

A pair of bacterial genes may enable genetic engineering strategies for curbing populations of virus-transmitting mosquitoes.

Bacteria that make the insects effectively sterile have been used to reduce mosquito populations. Now, two research teams have identified genes in those bacteria that may be responsible for the sterility, the groups report online February 27 in Nature and Nature Microbiology.

“I think it’s a great advance,” says Scott O’Neill, a biologist with the Institute of Vector-Borne Disease at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. People have been trying for years to understand how the bacteria manipulate insects, he says.

Wolbachia bacteria “sterilize” male mosquitoes through a mechanism called cytoplasmic incompatibility, which affects sperm and eggs. When an infected male breeds with an uninfected female, his modified sperm kill the eggs after fertilization. When he mates with a likewise infected female, however, her eggs remove the sperm modification and develop normally.

Researchers from Vanderbilt University in Nashville pinpointed a pair of genes, called cifA and cifB, connected to the sterility mechanism of Wolbachia. The genes are located not in the DNA of the bacterium itself, but in a virus embedded in its chromosome.

When the researchers took two genes from the Wolbachia

Sea Turtle Facts – 60 Unknown Facts About Sea Turtles

sea turtle facts

Sea turtle facts: Interesting facts about sea turtles. Sea turtles are cold blooded animals, belonging to the classification of reptiles, which includes snakes, crocodiles etc in its genre. They are sometimes called as marine turtles. Sea turtles live all over the world. Let’s explore interesting facts about sea turtles.

Sea turtle facts

Sea turtles live a solitary life.

Male and female sea turtle cannot be differentiated externally until they reach maturity.

Two or more males may court a single female.

Female sea turtles become sexually mature between 10 and 17 years of age.

Bigger species of sea turtles are found in the southern hemisphere in tropical and warmer waters.

Male sea turtles never return to the shore once they are hatched, whereas females come to the shore only during nesting season.

The gender of the baby turtles can be determined by the temperature. If the temperature of the egg is high a female is born, if the temperature of egg is low a male turtle is born.

Sea turtles don’t have teeth.

Sea turtles have lungs and breathe atmospheric air and they need to come back to the surface to breathe.

Japan has emerged as the principle country buying shells from tropical countries to produce handicrafts.

Facts about sea turtles

Young turtles hatch during the night and they use the moonlight to find their way to the sea.

Sea turtles can stay under water for up to 5 hours.

Sea turtles are revered in many cultures, for instance, in Hawaii, they are a symbol of good luck and in a Hindu symbol depicts that the world is resting on the back of a turtle.

Loggerhead sea turtles drink salt water and excrete excess salt through the glands present in their eyes, which makes them look like they are crying.

Young flatback sea turtles actually sleep on the surface of water.

Sea turtle is shortsighted in air, but can see well under water.

Sea turtles have excellent sense of direction; they use the Earth’s magnetic field as its compass.

Mating takes place at the sea.

June 16 is the World Sea Turtle Day.

Female sea turtles nest every 2 or 3 years and lay eggs during…