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.

Positive selection and horizontal gene transfer in the genome of a male-killing Wolbachia

T. Hill, R. L. Unckless and J. I. Perlmutter,  Molecular Biology and Evolution,  2021.
Wolbachia are a genus of widespread bacterial endosymbionts in which some strains can hijack or manipulate arthropod host reproduction. Male killing is one such manipulation in which these maternally transmitted bacteria benefit surviving daughters in part by removing competition ...
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Conditional knockdown of transformer in sheep blow fly suggests a role in repression of dosage compensation and potential for population suppression

M. E. Williamson, Y. Yan and M. J. Scott,  PLOS Genetics,  17:e1009792. 2021.
In the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and in the mosquito Anopheles gambiae, a single gene (Sxl in D. melanogaster, fle in A. gambiae) controls the development of female-specific tissues and X chromosome dosage compensation, which is the equalization of X-linked gene products ...
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A gene drive does not spread easily in populations of the honey bee parasite Varroa destructor

N. R. Faber, A. B. Meiborg, G. R. McFarlane, G. Gorjanc and B. A. Harpur,  Apidologie,  2021.
Varroa mites (Varroa destructor) are the most significant threat to beekeeping worldwide. They are directly or indirectly responsible for millions of colony losses each year. Beekeepers are somewhat able to control varroa populations through the use of physical and chemical ...
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Gene drive and RNAi technologies: a bio-cultural review of next-generation tools for pest wasp management in New Zealand

S. Palmer, P. K. Dearden, O. R. Mercier, A. King-Hunt and P. J. Lester,  Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand,  1-18. 2021.
There is a global need for novel, next-generation technologies and techniques to manage pest species. We review work on potential step-changing technologies for large landscape (>1000 hectares) pest management of social Vespula wasps. We also review M?ori perspectives on these ...
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Novel Symbiotic Genome-Scale Model Reveals Wolbachia’s Arboviral Pathogen Blocking Mechanism in Aedes aegypti

N. E. Jiménez, Z. P. Gerdtzen, Á. Olivera-Nappa, J. C. Salgado and C. Conca,  mBio,  e0156321. 2021.
Arboviral diseases such as Zika and Dengue have been on the rise mainly due to climate change, and the development of new treatments and strategies to limit their spreading is needed. The use of Wolbachia as an approach for disease control has motivated new research related to ...
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Modeling homing suppression gene drive in haplodiploid organisms

Y. Liu and J. Champer,  bioRxiv,  2021.10.12.464047. 2021.
Gene drives have shown great promise for suppression of pest populations. These engineered alleles can function by a variety of mechanisms, but the most common is the CRISPR homing drive, which converts wild-type alleles to drive alleles in the germline of heterozygotes. Some ...
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Small-scale release of non-gene drive mosquitoes in Burkina Faso: from engagement implementation to assessment, a learning journey

L. Pare Toe, N. Barry, A. D. Ky, S. Kekele, W. Meda, K. Bayala, M. Drabo, D. Thizy and A. Diabate,  Malaria Journal,  20:395. 2021.
This study provides a review of engagement activities relevant to field trials on non-gene drive genetically-modified mosquitoes as well as an assessment framework-using both qualitative and quantitative studies as well as an audit procedure. The latter was implemented to ...
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Structural and mechanistic insights into the complexes formed by Wolbachia cytoplasmic incompatibility factors

Y. Xiao, H. Chen, H. Wang, M. Zhang, X. Chen, J. M. Berk, L. Zhang, Y. Wei, W. Li, W. Cui, F. Wang, Q. Wang, C. Cui, T. Li, C. Chen, S. Ye, L. Zhang, X. Ji, J. Huang, W. Wang, Z. Wang, M. Hochstrasser and H. Yang,  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,  118. 2021.
Wolbachia bacteria, inherited through the female germ line, infect a large fraction of arthropod species. Many Wolbachia strains manipulate host reproduction, most commonly through cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI). CI, a conditional male sterility, results when Wolbachia-infected ...
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Meiotic self-pairing of the Psalidodon (Characiformes, Characidae) iso-B chromosome: A successful perpetuation mechanism

D. Silva, C. Araya-Jaime, M. Yamashita, M. R. Vidal, C. Oliveira, F. Porto-Foresti, R. F. Artoni and F. Foresti,  Genetics and Molecular Biology,  44:e20210084. 2021.
B chromosomes are non-essential additional genomic elements present in several animal and plant species. In fishes, species of the genus Psalidodon (Characiformes, Characidae) harbor great karyotype diversity, and multiple populations carry different types of non-essential B ...
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Spatial modelling for population replacement of mosquito vectors at continental scale

N. J. Beeton, A. Wilkins, A. Ickowicz, K. R. Hayes and G. R. Hosack,  bioRxiv,  2021.10.06.463299. 2021.
We explore transmission of the gene drive between the subspecies, different hybridisation mechanisms, the effects of both local dispersal and potential wind-aided migration to the spread, and the development of resistance to the gene drive. We find that given best current ...
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Gene drive: a faster route to plant improvement

H. A. Siddiqui, T. Harvey-Samuel and S. Mansoor,  Trends in Plant Science,  2021.
Gene drives for control of vector-borne diseases have been demonstrated in insects but remain challenging in plants. Theoretically, they could be transformative in speeding breeding programs and contributing to food security through providing novel weed control methods. Zhang et ...
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Genome engineering in insects for the control of vector borne diseases

V. E. Hillary and S. A. Ceasar,  Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science,  179:197-223. 2021.
Insects cause many vector-borne infectious diseases and have become a major threat to human health. Although many control measures are undertaken, some insects are resistant to it, exacerbated by environmental changes which is a major challenge for control measures. Genetic ...
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Towards CRISPR/Cas9-based gene drive in the diamondback moth Plutella xylostella

X. Xu, T. Harvey-Samuel, H. Siddiqui, J. Ang, M. A. E. Anderson, C. Reitmayer, E. Lovett, P. T. Leftwich, M. You and L. Alphey,  bioRxiv,  2021.10.05.462963. 2021.
Promising to provide powerful genetic control tools, gene drives have been constructed in multiple dipterans, yeast and mice, for the purposes of population elimination or modification. However, it remains unclear whether these techniques can be applied to lepidopterans. Here, we ...
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Resistance to a CRISPR-based gene drive at an evolutionarily conserved site is revealed by mimicking genotype fixation

S. Fuchs, W. T. Garrood, A. Beber, A. Hammond, R. Galizi, M. Gribble, G. Morselli, T.-Y. J. Hui, K. Willis, N. Kranjc, A. Burt, A. Crisanti and T. Nolan,  PLOS Genetics,  17. 2021.
Author summary Gene drives have the potential to be applied as a novel control strategy of disease-transmitting mosquitoes, by spreading genetic traits that suppress or modify the target population. Many gene drive elements work by recognising and cutting a specific target ...
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Releasing incompatible males drives strong suppression across populations of wild and Wolbachiat-carrying Aedes aegypti in Australia

N. W. Beebe, D. Pagendam, B. J. Trewin, A. Boomer, M. Bradford, A. Ford, C. Liddington, A. Bondarenco, P. J. De Barro, J. Gilchrist, C. Paton, K. M. Staunton, B. Johnson, A. J. Maynard, G. J. Devine, L. E. Hugo, G. Rasic, H. Cook, P. Massaro, N. Snoad, J.,  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,  118:e2106828118. 2021.
Through replicated treatment and control experiments in northern Australia, regular releases of Aedes aegypti males infected with a Wolbachia from Aedes albopictus was shown to drive strong population suppression in mosaic populations of wild-type (no Wolbachia) and ...
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Sexual selection can partly explain low frequencies of Segregation Distorter alleles

T. A. Keaney, T. M. Jones and L. Holman,  Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences,  288:20211190. 2021.
The Segregation Distorter (SD) allele found in Drosophila melanogaster distorts Mendelian inheritance in heterozygous males by causing developmental failure of non-SD spermatids, such that greater than 90% of the surviving sperm carry SD. This within-individual advantage should ...
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Life Table of Bactrocera zonata (Saunders) (Diptera: Tephritidae) for Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) in Mauritius

R. D. Bhoyroo, S. Facknath and P. Sookar,  African Entomology,  29:361-369. 2021.
Fruit flies (Tephritidae) have been reported to be a serious pest worldwide. In Mauritius, the major fruit fly species of economic and quarantine importance in agricultural production are Bactrocera zonata (Saunders), Zeugodacus cucurbitae (Coquillett) and Bactrocera dorsalis ...
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A single mutation weakens symbiont-induced reproductive manipulation through reductions in deubiquitylation efficiency

J. F. Beckmann, K. Van Vaerenberghe, D. E. Akwa and B. S. Cooper,  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,  118:e2113271118. 2021.
We show that a single naturally observed mutation weakens CI by reducing deubiquitylation. These discoveries help elucidate the molecular basis of symbiont-induced reproductive manipulations.Animals interact with microbes that affect their performance and fitness, including ...
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Microsporidia MB is found predominantly associated with Anopheles gambiae s.s and Anopheles coluzzii in Ghana

J. Akorli, E. A. Akorli, S. N. A. Tetteh, G. K. Amlalo, M. Opoku, R. Pwalia, M. Adimazoya, D. Atibilla, S. Pi-Bansa, J. Chabi and S. K. Dadzie,  Scientific Reports,  11:5. 2021.
A vertically transmitted microsporidian, Microsporidia MB, with the ability to disrupt Plasmodium development was reported in Anopheles arabiensis from Kenya, East Africa. To demonstrate its range of incidence, archived DNA samples from 7575 Anopheles mosquitoes collected from ...
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Discrete dynamical models on Wolbachia infection frequency in mosquito populations with biased release ratios

Y. Shi and B. Zheng,  Journal of Biological Dynamics,  2021.
We develop two discrete models to study how supplemental releases affect the Wolbachia spreading dynamics in cage mosquito populations. The first model focuses on the case when only infected males are released at each generation. This release strategy has been proved to be ...
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