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Insects 2019, 10(2), 49;

Green, Yellow, and Red Fluorescent Proteins as Markers for Bacterial Isolates from Mosquito Midguts

Crop Bioprotection Research Unit, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, 1815 N. University, St. Peoria, IL 61604, USA
Illinois Natural History Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL 61820, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 December 2018 / Revised: 29 January 2019 / Accepted: 31 January 2019 / Published: 3 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrative Mosquito Biology: From Molecules to Ecosystems)
PDF [3031 KB, uploaded 3 February 2019]


The growing awareness that microbial symbionts residing in mosquito midguts can interrupt transmission of vector-borne diseases has stimulated interest in understanding their potential role in mosquito biology. Fluorescent proteins are powerful molecular markers that provide for detailed analysis of the function and behavior of specific midgut bacterial isolates without disturbing the normal gut microbiota. The aim of this study was to label bacterial isolates from the midgut of Ochlerotatus triseriatus, the primary vector of La Crosse virus, with green, yellow, and red fluorescent proteins (GFP, YFP, RFP) via electroporation. We also assessed the stability of GFP-, YFP-, and RFP-bearing plasmids and their effect on bacterial growth. Seven of eleven bacterial species could not be labeled despite several attempts. Labeling of Escherichia coli and Enterobacter cloacae was successfully achieved with all three fluorescent proteins. In contrast, labeling of Aerococcus viridans was achieved with GFP only and labeling of Aeromonas hydrophila was achieved with GFP and YFP only. The stability of GFP plasmid varied among bacterial species with A. hydrophila followed by E. cloacae having the most stable GFP label. In contrast, YFP and RFP plasmids were very stable in all bacterial species possessing these labels. GFP plasmid reduced the growth of labeled strains relative to wild type but this effect was not evident in YFP and RFP plasmids. These findings suggest that some mosquito midgut bacterial isolates can effectively be labeled with GFP, YFP and RFP plasmids allowing non-destructive studies on their functions within the vector. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ochlerotatus triseriatus; gut bacteria; fluorescent proteins Ochlerotatus triseriatus; gut bacteria; fluorescent proteins

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Muturi, E.J.; Ramirez, J.L.; Kim, C.-H. Green, Yellow, and Red Fluorescent Proteins as Markers for Bacterial Isolates from Mosquito Midguts. Insects 2019, 10, 49.

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