Genetic variability in populations of Aedes aegypti

Bull World Health Organ. 1961;24(4-5):527-39.


Although Aëdes aegypti shows extensive physiological, bionomic and morphological variation in different populations, the genetic basis for this variation has never been determined. Genetic plasticity influences disease transmission, resistance to control measures, and breeding behaviour. Solutions to problems of public health importance may depend upon an understanding of the present and potential degree of genetic resiliency in mosquito populations.The purpose of the work described in this paper was to demonstrate that a pattern of considerable genetic plasticity exists for A. aegypti and to indicate the range and some of the implications of this plasticity.Observations on over 30 strains of various geographical origins have revealed genetic variation with respect to sex ratio and at least 35 morphological characteristics. Balanced polymorphism is common in laboratory colonies and probably in field populations as well. Inbreeding experiments were conducted to determine the degree of heterozygosity in populations. On the average, every mosquito carried one hidden morphological mutation.

MeSH terms

  • Aedes / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Geography*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*