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Single-cell profiling of mosquito spermatogenesis defines the onset of meiotic silencing and pre-meiotic overexpression of the X chromosome.

Page, Nicole; Taxiarchi, Chrysanthi; Tonge, Daniel; Kuburic, Jasmina; Chesters, Emily; Kriezis, Antonios; Kyrou, Kyros; Game, Laurence; Nolan, Tony; Galizi, Roberto


Nicole Page

Chrysanthi Taxiarchi

Jasmina Kuburic

Emily Chesters

Antonios Kriezis

Kyros Kyrou

Laurence Game

Tony Nolan


Understanding development and genetic regulation in the Anopheles gambiae germline is essential to engineer effective genetic control strategies targeting this malaria mosquito vector. These include targeting the germline to induce sterility or using regulatory sequences to drive transgene expression for applications such as gene drive. However, only very few germline-specific regulatory elements have been characterised with the majority showing leaky expression. This has been shown to considerably reduce the efficiency of current genetic control strategies, which rely on regulatory elements with more tightly restricted spatial and/or temporal expression. Meiotic silencing of the sex chromosomes limits the flexibility of transgene expression to develop effective sex-linked genetic control strategies. Here, we build on our previous study, dissecting gametogenesis into four distinct cell populations, using single-cell RNA sequencing to define eight distinct cell clusters and associated germline cell–types using available marker genes. We reveal overexpression of X-linked genes in a distinct cluster of pre-meiotic cells and document the onset of meiotic silencing of the X chromosome in a subcluster of cells in the latter stages of spermatogenesis. This study provides a comprehensive dataset, characterising the expression of distinct cell types through spermatogenesis and widening the toolkit for genetic control of malaria mosquitoes.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 7, 2023
Online Publication Date Aug 15, 2023
Deposit Date Sep 7, 2023
Journal Communications Biology
Print ISSN 2399-3642
Electronic ISSN 2399-3642
Publisher Nature Research
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 6
Article Number 850
Related Public URLs ResearchSquare (PREPRINT) - 10.21203/