Scholarly Literature

This is a database of scholarly literature that concentrates currently on natural and engineered selfish genetic elements (gene drives).  The latest are shown here.
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Widespread haploid-biased gene expression enables sperm-level natural selection

K. Bhutani, K. Stansifer, S. Ticau, L. Bojic, A.-C. Villani, J. Slisz, C. M. Cremers, C. Roy, J. Donovan, B. Fiske and R. C. Friedman,  Science,  eabb1723. 2021.
Here, we show that a large class of mammalian genes are not completely shared across these bridges. We term these genes “genoinformative markers” (GIMs) and show that a subset can act as selfish genetic elements that spread alleles unevenly through murine, bovine, and human ...
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Selfing is the safest sex for Caenorhabditis tropicalis

L. M. Noble, J. Yuen, L. Stevens, N. D. Moya, R. Persaud, M. Moscatelli, J. L. Jackson, G. Zhang, R. Chitrakar, L. R. Baugh, C. Braendle, E. C. Andersen, H. S. Seidel and M. V. Rockman,  eLife,  10:e62587. 2021.
We generated a chromosomal-scale genome for C. tropicalis and surveyed global diversity. Population structure is very strong, and islands of extreme divergence punctuate a genomic background that is highly homogeneous around the globe. Outbreeding depression in the laboratory is ...
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Double drives and private alleles for localised population genetic control

K. Willis and A. Burt,  bioRxiv,  2021.01.08.425856. 2021.
In this paper we propose and model a series of low threshold double drive designs for population suppression, each consisting of two constructs, one imposing a reproductive load on the population and the other inserted into a differentiated locus and controlling the drive of the ...
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Targeting evolutionary conserved sequences circumvents the evolution of resistance in a viral gene drive against human cytomegalovirus

M. Walter, R. Perrone and E. Verdin,  bioRxiv,  2021.01.08.425902. 2021.
Here, we analyze in cell culture experiments the evolution of resistance in a gene drive against human cytomegalovirus. We report that after an initial invasion of the wildtype population, a drive-resistant population is positively selected over time and outcompetes gene drive ...
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Suppression gene drive in continuous space can result in unstable persistence of both drive and wild-type alleles

J. Champer, I. K. Kim, S. E. Champer, A. G. Clark and P. W. Messer,  Mol Ecol,  2021.
Using spatially explicit simulations, we show that the release of a suppression drive can result in what we term "chasing" dynamics, in which wild-type individuals recolonize areas where the drive locally eliminated the population. Despite the drive subsequently reconquering ...
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Ubiquitous Selfish Toxin-Antidote Elements in Caenorhabditis Species

E. Ben-David, P. Pliota, S. A. Widen, A. Koreshova, T. Lemus-Vergara, P. Verpukhovskiy, S. Mandali, C. Braendle, A. Burga and L. Kruglyak,  Current Biology,  2021.
Here, we report the discovery of maternal-effect TAs in both C. tropicalis and C. briggsae, two distant relatives of C. elegans. In C. tropicalis, multiple TAs combine to cause a striking degree of intraspecific incompatibility: five elements reduce the fitness of >70% of the ...
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Next-generation tools to control biting midge populations and reduce pathogen transmission

P. Shults, L. W. Cohnstaedt, Z. N. Adelman and C. Brelsfoard,  Parasites and Vectors,  14:31. 2021.
Biting midges of the genus Culicoides transmit disease-causing agents resulting in a significant economic impact on livestock industries in many parts of the world. Localized control efforts, such as removal of larval habitat or pesticide application, can be logistically ...
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Mosquito Sexual Selection and Reproductive Control Programs

L. J. Cator, C. A. S. Wyer and L. C. Harrington,  Trends in Parasitology,  2021.
Recent work has generated many key insights about specific aspects of mating behavior and physiology. Here, we synthesize these findings and classify swarming mosquito systems as polygynous. Male mating success is highly variable in swarms and evidence suggests that it is likely ...
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Conservation pest control with new technologies: public perceptions

E. A. MacDonald, M. B. Neff, E. Edwards, F. Medvecky and J. Balanovic,  Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand,  2021.
We conducted eleven focus groups in New Zealand to explore three questions about novel technologies (gene drive and two others for comparison of pest control tools): (1) what are the risks/benefits? (2) how do they compare to current methods? and (3) who should be represented on ...
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Transgenic cotton and sterile insect releases synergize eradication of pink bollworm a century after it invaded the United States

B. E. Tabashnik, L. R. Liesner, P. C. Ellsworth, G. C. Unnithan, J. A. Fabrick, S. E. Naranjo, X. Li, T. J. Dennehy, L. Antilla, R. T. Staten and Y. Carrière,  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,  118:e2019115118. 2020.
The program included releases of billions of sterile pink bollworm moths from airplanes and planting of cotton engineered to produce insect-killing proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. Analysis of computer simulations and 21 y of field data from Arizona indicate ...
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Genetic pest management and the background genetics of release strains

P. T. Leftwich, L. G. Spurgin, T. Harvey-Samuel, C. J. E. Thomas, L. C. Paladino, M. P. Edgington and L. Alphey,  Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences,  376:20190805. 2020.
We discuss issues around strain selection and the potential consequences of such introgression. We conclude that such introgression is probably harmless in almost all circumstances, and could, in theory, provide specific additional benefits to the release programme. We outline ...
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Control of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes using gene drives

T. Nolan,  Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences,  376:20190803. 2020.
In this article, I will discuss the relative merits of this type of gene drive, as well as barriers to its technical development and to its deployment in the field as malaria control. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Novel control strategies for mosquito-borne ...
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Genetic sexing strains for the population suppression of the mosquito vector Aedes aegypti

P. Koskinioti, A. A. Augustinos, D. O. Carvalho, M. Misbah-ul-Haq, G. Pillwax, L. D. d. l. Fuente, G. Salvador-Herranz, R. A. Herrero and K. Bourtzis,  Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences,  376:20190808. 2020.
Here, we report on the construction of two genetic sexing strains using red- and white-eye colour mutations as selectable markers. Quality control analysis showed that the Red-eye genetic sexing strains (GSS) is better and more genetically stable than the White-eye GSS. The ...
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Wolbachia strain wAlbB maintains high density and dengue inhibition following introduction into a field population of Aedes aegypti

N. A. Ahmad, M.-V. Mancini, T. H. Ant, J. Martinez, G. M. R. Kamarul, W. A. Nazni, A. A. Hoffmann and S. P. Sinkins,  Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences,  376:20190809. 2020.
Here, wAlbB-carrying Ae. aegypti collected from the field 20 months after the cessation of releases showed no reduction in Wolbachia density or tissue distribution changes compared to a wAlbB laboratory colony. The wAlbB strain continued to induce complete unidirectional ...
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Making gene drive biodegradable

J. Zapletal, N. Najmitabrizi, M. Erraguntla, M. A. Lawley, K. M. Myles and Z. N. Adelman,  Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences,  376:20190804. 2020.
Here, we consider the inclusion of self-elimination mechanisms into the design of homing-based gene drive transgenes. This approach not only caused the excision of the gene drive transgene, but also generates a transgene-free allele resistant to further action by the gene drive. ...
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Application of the Relationship-Based Model to Engagement for Field Trials of Genetically Engineered Malaria Vectors

A. Kormos, G. C. Lanzaro, E. Bier, G. Dimopoulos, J. M. Marshall, J. Pinto, A. Aguiar dos Santos, A. Bacar, H. Sousa Pontes Sacramento Rompão and A. A. James,  The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene,  2020.
Although guidelines and recommendations for engagement for gene drives have recently been described, we argue here that communities and stakeholders should lead the planning, development, and implementation phases of engagement. The RBM provides a new approach to the development ...
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CRISPR/Cas9 knockout of female-biased genes AeAct-4 or myo-fem in Ae. aegypti results in a flightless phenotype in female, but not male mosquitoes

S. O’Leary and Z. N. Adelman,  PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases,  14:e0008971. 2020.
Author summary Ae. aegypti is the most important vector of arboviruses throughout the world, and new strategies are urgently needed to add to our existing arsenal of control methods to prevent or halt disease transmission. Importantly, only female Ae. aegypti mosquitoes transmit ...
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Gene Drive-Modified Organisms: Developing Practical Risk Assessment Guidance

Y. Devos, M. B. Bonsall, L. G. Firbank, J. Mumford, F. Nogué and E. A. Wimmer,  Trends in Biotechnology,  2020.
Risk assessors, risk managers, developers, potential applicants, and other stakeholders at many levels discuss the need for new or further risk assessment guidance for deliberate environmental releases of gene drive-modified organisms. However, preparing useful and practical ...
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A CRISPR endonuclease gene drive reveals two distinct mechanisms of inheritance bias

S. A. N. Verkuijl, E. González, J. X. D. Ang, M. Li, N. P. Kandul, M. Anderson, O. S. Akbari, M. Bonsall and L. Alphey,  bioRxiv,  2020.12.15.421271. 2020.
In this study, we report the functioning of sds3, bgcn, and nup50 expressed Cas9 in an Aedes aegypti homing split drive system targeting the white gene. We report their inheritance biasing capability, propensity for maternal deposition, and zygotic/somatic expression. ...
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The Antiviral Small-Interfering RNA Pathway Induces Zika Virus Resistance in Transgenic Aedes aegypti

A. E. Williams, I. Sanchez-Vargas, W. R. Reid, J. Y. Lin, A. W. E. Franz and K. E. Olson,  Viruses,  12:18. 2020.
We used CRISPR/Cas9 to re-target a previously characterized locus (Chr2:321382225) and engineered mosquitoes expressing an inverted repeat (IR) dsRNA against the NS3/4A region of the ZIKV genome. Small RNA analysis revealed that the IR effector triggered the mosquito's siRNA ...
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