Performance analysis of novel toxin-antidote CRISPR gene drive systems

J. Champer, I. K. Kim, S. E. Champer, A. G. Clark and P. W. Messer,  BMC Biology,  18:27. 2020.

CRISPR gene drive systems allow the rapid spread of a genetic construct throughout a population. Such systems promise novel strategies for the management of vector-borne diseases and invasive species by suppressing a target population or modifying it with a desired trait. However, current homing-type drives have two potential shortcomings. First, they can be thwarted by the rapid evolution of resistance. Second, they lack any mechanism for confinement to a specific target population. In this study, we conduct a comprehensive performance assessment of several new types of CRISPR-based gene drive systems employing toxin-antidote (TA) principles, which should be less prone to resistance and allow for the confinement of drives to a target population due to invasion frequency thresholds.