Transporting marker gene re (red eye) into a laboratory cage population of Aedes-aegypti (Diptera Culicidae), using meiotic drive at MD locus

R. J. Wood, L. M. Cook, A. Hamilton and A. Whitelaw,  Journal of Medical Entomology,  14:461-464. 1977.

An attempt has been made to use the meiotic drive gene MD to transport a marker re (redeye) into a laboratory population of the mosquito Aedes aegypti. The experiment produced an increase in re frequency, but also indicated that this gene has unexpectedly high fitness in the laboratory. The need for field estimates of fitness is indicated.

This experiment was designed to simulate what might be achieved with a “useful” MD-linked gene, e.g., one giving conditional lethality, resistance to arbovirus infection, or sensitivity to an insecticide. Because of the unforseen influence of re, the simulation was only partly successful, and it strongly indicates the limitations of laboratory experiments and the need for field investigation in the future.

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