Self-limiting population genetic control with sex-linked genome editors

Burt, AD, Anne,  Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences,  285:20180776. 2018.

In male heterogametic species the Y chromosome is transmitted solely from fathers to sons, and is selected for based only on its impacts on male fitness. This fact can be exploited to develop efficient pest control strategies that use Y-linked editors to disrupt the fitness of female descendants. With simple population genetic and dynamic models we show that Y-linked editors can be substantially more efficient than other self-limiting strategies and, while not as efficient as gene drive approaches, are expected to have less impact on non-target populations with which there is some gene flow. Efficiency can be further augmented by simultaneously releasing an autosomal X-shredder construct, in either the same or different males. Y-linked editors may be an attractive option to consider when efficient control of a species is desired in some locales but not others.