Gene Drives: Experience with gene drive systems that may inform an environmental risk assessment

Rüdelsheim, PKJS, G.,  COGEM,  2019.

Gene drives are genetic mechanisms that allow for a trait to be propagated throughout a population; beyond Mendelian inheritance. Active in sexually-reproducing species, they are powerful tools to “drive”; a gene, i.e. increase its frequency, independent of external selection pressure. They have been proposed; as offering solutions for many challenges in public health, agriculture, conservation and others. They have; inspired researchers to use gene drives to combat diseases transmitted by insects such as malaria,; dengue and Zika.; For decennia attempts have been made to use or modify naturally occurring gene drive mechanisms. Yet,; natural gene drives have their limitations. Transposable element-based drives turned out to be not efficient; enough. Moreover, they cannot be directed. Translocation drives are hard to establish and suffer from a; high fitness cost. Others are only active in specific species (e.g. meiotic drive, MEDEA).