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Genetics and immunity of Anopheles response to the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae overlap with immunity to Plasmodium

Abstract : Entomopathogenic fungi have been explored as a potential biopesticide to counteract the insecticide resistance issue in mosquitoes. However, little is known about the possibility that genetic resistance to fungal biopesticides could evolve in mosquito populations. Here, we detected an important genetic component underlying Anopheles coluzzii survival after exposure to the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae . A familiality study detected variation for survival among wild mosquito isofemale pedigrees, and genetic mapping identified two loci that significantly influence mosquito survival after fungus exposure. One locus overlaps with a previously reported locus for Anopheles susceptibility to the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum . Candidate gene studies revealed that two LRR proteins encoded by APL1C and LRIM1 genes in this newly mapped locus are required for protection of female A. coluzzii from M. anisopliae , as is the complement-like factor Tep1. These results indicate that natural Anopheles populations already segregate frequent genetic variation for differential mosquito survival after fungal challenge and suggest a similarity in Anopheles protective responses against fungus and Plasmodium . However, this immune similarity raises the possibility that fungus-resistant mosquitoes could also display enhanced resistance to Plasmodium , suggesting an advantage of selecting for fungus resistance in vector populations to promote naturally diminished malaria vector competence.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, April 26, 2022 - 8:22:39 AM
Last modification on : Friday, September 2, 2022 - 12:54:06 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, July 27, 2022 - 6:06:59 PM

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Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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Tullu Bukhari, Vishukumar Aimanianda, Emmanuel Bischoff, Emma Brito-Fravallo, Karin Eiglmeier, et al.. Genetics and immunity of Anopheles response to the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae overlap with immunity to Plasmodium. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2022, 12 (1), pp.6315. ⟨10.1038/s41598-022-10190-3⟩. ⟨pasteur-03651757⟩

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