Gene drive and genetic sex conversion in the global agricultural pest Ceratitis capitata

A. Meccariello, S. Hou, S. Davydova, J. Fawcett, A. Siddall, P. Leftwich, T. , F. Krsticevic, P. A. Papathanos and N. Windbichler,  bioRxiv,  2023.08.16.553191. 2023.
Homing-based gene drives are novel interventions promising the area-wide, species-specific genetic control of harmful insect populations. Here we characterise a first set of gene drives in a tephritid agricultural pest species, the Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata ...
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Gene drives for invasive wasp control: Extinction is unlikely, with suppression dependent on dispersal and growth rates

P. J. Lester, D. O'Sullivan and G. L. W. Perry,  Ecological Applications,  2023.
Abstract Gene drives offer a potentially revolutionary method for pest control over large spatial extents. These genetic modifications spread deleterious variants through a population and have been proposed as methods for pest suppression or even eradication. We examined the ...
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Single-cell profiling of Anopheles gambiae spermatogenesis defines the onset of meiotic silencing and premeiotic overexpression of the X chromosome

N. Page, C. Taxiarchi, D. Tonge, J. Kuburic, E. Chesters, A. Kriezis, K. Kyrou, L. Game, T. Nolan and R. Galizi,  Commun Biol,  6:850. 2023.
Understanding development and genetic regulation in the Anopheles gambiae germline is essential to engineer effective genetic control strategies targeting this malaria mosquito vector. These include targeting the germline to induce sterility or using regulatory sequences to drive ...
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Proposed Changes to the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules (NIH Guidelines)

National Institutes of Health,  Federal Register,  2023.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) seeks input on a proposal to revise the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules (NIH Guidelines) to include specific considerations and requirements for conducting research involving gene drive ...
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wMel replacement of dengue-competent mosquitoes is robust to near-term change

V. N. Vásquez, L. M. Kueppers, G. Rašić and J. M. Marshall,  Nature Climate Change,  13:848-855. 2023.
Rising temperatures are impacting the range and prevalence of mosquito-borne diseases. A promising biocontrol technology replaces wild mosquitoes with those carrying the virus-blocking Wolbachia bacterium. Because the most widely used strain, wMel, is adversely affected by heat ...
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Cost-effectiveness of Precision Guided SIT for Control of Anopheles gambiae in the Upper River Region, The Gambia

G. William, R. Robyn, M. Agastya, M. S. C. Hector, S. Andrea, Z. David, G. I. Patrick, D. Umberto, Alessandro, M. M. John and A. Omar,  bioRxiv,  2023.07.20.549762. 2023.
Precision-guided sterile insect technique (pgSIT) is an extremely promising vector control intervention that can reduce and potentially eliminate the unacceptable malaria burden, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Here we explore the cost effectiveness of using this approach in ...
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Dual effector population modification gene-drive strains of the African malaria mosquitoes, Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles coluzzii

R. Carballar-Lejarazú, Y. Dong, T. B. Pham, T. Tushar, R. M. Corder, A. Mondal, H. M. Sánchez C, H.-F. Lee, J. M. Marshall, G. Dimopoulos and A. A. James,  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,  120:e2221118120. 2023.
Proposed genetic approaches for reducing human malaria include population modification, which introduces genes into vector mosquitoes to reduce or prevent parasite transmission. We demonstrate the potential of Cas9/guide RNA (gRNA)?based gene-drive systems linked to dual ...
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A confinable female-lethal population suppression system in the malaria vector, Anopheles gambiae

A. L. Smidler, J. J. Pai, R. A. Apte, H. M. Sánchez C, R. M. Corder, E. Jeffrey Gutiérrez, N. Thakre, I. Antoshechkin, J. M. Marshall and O. S. Akbari,  Science Advances,  9:eade8903. 2023.
Malaria is among the world?s deadliest diseases, predominantly affecting Sub-Saharan Africa and killing over half a million people annually. Controlling the principal vector, the mosquito Anopheles gambiae, as well as other anophelines, is among the most effective methods to ...
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Nuclear Technique Used in Europe for First time to Battle Yellow Fever Mosquito Found in Cyprus

IAEA,  IAEA,  2023.
Cyprus this month released the first batch of 100,000 sterile mosquitos to begin the implementation of a Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) project testing the use of a nuclear technique to eradicate an invasive species of ...
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Draft environmental assessment for use of Wolbachia-based incompatible insect technique for the suppression of nonnative southern house mosquito populations on Kauaʻi

Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources,  Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources,  2023.
The State of Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources hereby transmits the Draft Environmental Assessment and Anticipated Finding of No Significant Impact (DEAEnvironmental Assessment for use of Wolbachia-based Incompatible Insect Technique for the suppression of ...
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CRISPR/Cas9-based split homing gene drive targeting doublesex for population suppression of the global fruit pest Drosophila suzukii

A. K. Yadav, C. Butler, A. Yamamoto, A. A. Patil, A. L. Lloyd and M. J. Scott,  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A,  120:e2301525120. 2023.
Genetic-based methods offer environmentally friendly species-specific approaches for control of insect pests. One method, CRISPR homing gene drive that target genes essential for development, could provide very efficient and cost-effective control. While significant progress has ...
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Molecular Biology of Cytoplasmic Incompatibility Caused by Wolbachia Endosymbionts

M. Hochstrasser,  Annual Review of Microbiology,  2023.
Among endosymbiotic bacteria living within eukaryotic cells, Wolbachia is exceptionally widespread, particularly in arthropods. Inherited through the female germline, it has evolved ways to increase the fraction of bacterially infected offspring by inducing parthenogenesis, ...
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An economic evaluation of Wolbachia deployments for dengue control in Vietnam

H. C. Turner, D. L. Quyen, R. Dias, P. T. Huong, C. P. Simmons and K. L. Anders,  PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases,  17:e0011356. 2023.
INTRODUCTION: Dengue is a major public health challenge and a growing problem due to climate change. The release of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes infected with the intracellular bacterium Wolbachia is a novel form of vector control against dengue. However, there remains a need to ...
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The optimal strategy of incompatible insect technique (IIT) using Wolbachia and the application to malaria control

T. Matsufuji and S. Seirin-Lee,  Journal of Theoretical Biology,  569:111519. 2023.
For decades, techniques to control vector population with low environmental impact have been widely explored in both field and theoretical studies. The incompatible insect technique (IIT) using Wolbachia, based on cytoplasmic incompatibility, is a technique that ...
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Leveraging eco-evolutionary models for gene drive risk assessment

M. A. Combs, A. J. Golnar, J. M. Overcash, A. L. Lloyd, K. R. Hayes, D. A. O’Brochta and K. M. Pepin,  Trends in Genetics,  2023.
As development of gene drive systems accelerates and diversifies, predicting outcomes for target populations and the potential for human and environmental risks requires accounting for numerous eco-evolutionary processes.Gene drive dynamic models quantify the influence of ...
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Adversarial interspecies relationships facilitate population suppression by gene drive in spatially explicit models

Y. Liu, W. Teo, H. Yang and J. Champer,  Ecology Letters,  2023.
Abstract Suppression gene drives bias their inheritance to spread through a population, potentially eliminating it when they reach high frequency. CRISPR homing suppression drives have already seen success in the laboratory, but several models predict that success may be elusive ...
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The boundary problem: Defining and delineating the community in field trials with gene drive organisms

N. de Graeff, I. Pirson, R. van der Graaf, A. L. Bredenoord and K. R. Jongsma,  Bioethics,  2023.
Despite widespread and worldwide efforts to eradicate vector-borne diseases such as malaria, these diseases continue to have an enormous negative impact on public health. For this reason, scientists are working on novel control strategies, such as gene drive technologies (GDTs). ...
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Targeting Sex Determination to Suppress Mosquito Populations

L. Ming, P. K. Nikolay, S. Ruichen, Y. Ting, D. B. Elena, J. B. Daniel, A. Igor, M. S. C. Hector, Z. Yinpeng, A. D. Nicolas, M. L. YuMin, P. S. Matthew, M. Craig, M. M. John and S. A. Omar,  bioRxiv,  2023.04.18.537404. 2023.
Each year, hundreds of millions of people are infected with arboviruses such as dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya, and Zika, which are all primarily spread by the notorious mosquito Aedes aegypti. Traditional control measures have proven insufficient, necessitating innovations. ...
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First transgenic mosquito made in Africa by Transmission Zero

H. Dunning,  Imperial College London,  2023.
Transmission Zero, a global scientific programme led by scientists at Imperial College London and the Ifakara Health Institute (IHI) of Tanzania, in partnership with the Tanzanian National Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), announces the generation of the first transgenic ...
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A gene drive is a gene drive: the debate over lumping or splitting definitions

S. L. James, D. A. O'Brochta, F. Randazzo and O. Akbari,  Nature Communications,  2023.
Gene drive technologies are being considered as a new approach to address a variety of currently intractable global problems, including to prevent disease transmission, reduce crop loss, and preserve biodiversity1. There are some outside the genetics research community who argue ...
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