Genome editing and its applications for insect pest control: Curse or blessing?

Hacker, I. , and Schetelig, M. F,  AREA-WIDE INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT: Development and Field Application,  2021.

Gene and genome editing are described as cutting-edge research tools with the potential to tackle urgent global challenges in the management of agricultural pests and human disease vectors such as mosquitoes. The field is defined by the chances and challenges to interlink the disciplines of insect genomics, molecular biology, and pest control together with the need for clear risk assessment, policy development and public approval of the application of such novel technologies. The goal is to generate innovative and sustainable pest control solutions applied in the best interest for the environment and human society. Here, starting from available genome editing technologies, the current strategies and applications for insect pest control are discussed, including approaches to overcome the evolution of resistance alleles and other potential pitfalls to be expected from selective pressures resulting from gene drive applications. They are supplemented by views on regulatory, policy and ethical considerations that in our opinion will be necessary to define how the different tools can be used in the future in a safe and responsible way.


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