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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Cas9-Mediated Gene-Editing in the Black-Legged Tick, Ixodes Scapularis, by Embryo Injection and ReMOT Control.

A. a. P. Sharma, Michael N. and Reyes, Jeremiah B. and Chana, Randeep and Yim, Won C. and Heu, Chan C. and Kim, Donghun and Chaverra-Rodriguez, Duverney and Rasgon, Jason L. and Harrell, Robert A. and Nuss, Andrew B. and Gulia-Nuss, Monika,,  Cell Reports,  2021.
Despite their capacity to acquire and pass on an array of debilitating pathogens, research on ticks has lagged behind other arthropod vectors, such as mosquitoes, largely because of a lack of genetic and molecular tools. CRISPR-Cas9 is transforming non-model organism research; ...
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CRISPR/Cas9-based functional characterization of the pigmentation gene ebony in Plutella xylostella

X. Xu, T. Harvey-Samuel, J. Yang, M. You and L. Alphey,  Insect Molecular Biology,  2021.
Abstract Body pigmentation is an important character of insects in adapting to biotic and abiotic environmental challenges. Additionally, based on the relative ease of screening, several genes involved in insect melanisation have been used in classic genetic studies or as visual ...
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Insect pest management in the age of synthetic biology

R. Mateos Fernández, M. Petek, I. Gerasymenko, M. Juteršek, Š. Baebler, K. Kallam, E. Moreno Giménez, J. Gondolf, A. Nordmann, K. Gruden, D. Orzaez and N. J. Patron,  Plant Biotechnology Journal,  2021.
Arthropod crop pests are responsible for 20% of global annual crop losses, a figure predicted to increase in a changing climate where the ranges of numerous species are projected to expand. At the same time, many insect species are beneficial, acting as pollinators and predators ...
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New mosquito control tools are critical

L. Braack,  Open Access Government,  2021.
Globally, we are making slow headway in the fight against malaria, but there has been progress, nonetheless. Since 2000, 39 countries and territories have managed to rid themselves of malaria; the most recent is China. Existing tools can achieve local elimination, but the battle ...
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Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

E. P. Caragata, Y. Lee and E. A. Buckner,  UF IFAS Extension Service,  2021.
Genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes are controversial, partly because of misinformation. This publication provides science-based information about GM mosquitoes to the public and anyone involved in mosquito control. It explains what GM mosquitoes are and why they are being ...
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A Monte Carlo study to investigate the feasibility to use the Moroccan panoramic irradiator in sterile insect technique programs

A. Aknouch, Y. El-ouardi, L. Hamroud, R. Sebihi, M. Mouhib, M. Yjjou, A. Didi and A. Choukri,  Radiation and Environmental Biophysics,  2021.
Mediterranean fly pest (Ceratitis) is one of the most destructive pests of fruit species in Morocco. The sterile insect technique (SIT) is an environmentally friendly strategy that uses ionizing radiation to sterilize adult insects. Morocco has a panoramic gamma irradiator used ...
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Knowing and Controlling: Engineering Ideals and Gene Drive for Invasive Species Control in Aotearoa New Zealand

C. H. Ross,  Nature Remade: Engineering Life, Envisioning Worlds,  2021.
On the islands of Aotearoa, also called New Zealand, invasive species have been a prominent and persistent concern for local ecosystems. Traditional methods of biological control, though, can be difficult to implement and often have harmful side- effects for the environment and ...
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Analysis of the Segregation Distortion of FcRAN1 Genotypes Based on Whole-Genome Resequencing of Fig (Ficus carica L.) Breeding Parents

H. Ikegami, K. Shirasawa, H. Yakushiji, S. Yabe, M. Sato, T. Hayashi, K. Tashiro and H. Nogata,  Frontiers in Plant Science,  12:8. 2021.
The common fig (Ficus carica L.) has a gynodioecious breeding system, and its sex phenotype is an important trait for breeding because only female plant fruits are edible. During breeding to select for female plants, we analyzed the FcRAN1 genotype, which is strongly associated ...
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A common gene drive language eases regulatory process and eco-evolutionary extensions

P. Verma, R. G. Reeves and C. S. Gokhale,  BMC Ecology and Evolution,  21:156. 2021.
Synthetic gene drive technologies aim to spread transgenic constructs into wild populations even when they impose organismal fitness disadvantages. The extraordinary diversity of plausible drive mechanisms and the range of selective parameters they may encounter makes it very ...
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Red queen’s race: rapid evolutionary dynamics of an expanding family of meiotic drive factors and their hpRNA suppressors

J. Vedanayagam, C.-J. Lin and E. C. Lai,  bioRxiv,  2021.08.05.454923. 2021.
Meiotic drivers are a class of selfish genetic elements that are widespread across eukaryotes. Their activities are often detrimental to organismal fitness and thus trigger drive suppression to ensure fair segregation during meiosis. Accordingly, their existence is frequently ...
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Gene drives gaining speed

E. Bier,  Nature Reviews Genetics,  2021.
Gene drives are selfish genetic elements that are transmitted to progeny at super-Mendelian (>50%) frequencies. Recently developed CRISPR–Cas9-based gene-drive systems are highly efficient in laboratory settings, offering the potential to reduce the prevalence of vector-borne ...
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The Promise of Genetics and Genomics for Improving Invasive Mammal Management on Islands

B. T. Burgess, R. L. Irvine, G. R. Howald and M. A. Russello,  Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution,  9. 2021.
Invasive species are major contributors to global biodiversity decline. Invasive mammalian species (IMS), in particular, have profound negative effects in island systems that contain disproportionally high levels of species richness and endemism. The eradication and control of ...
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Invasive Mice and Engineered Genes

W. M. Adams and K. H. Redford,  Yale University Press Blog,  2021.
On Gough Island, a steep speck of land deep in the South Atlantic, giant mice eat albatross chicks as they sit on their nests. They are house mice, accidental arrivals on the ships of long-dead sealers. But they have lost their secretive, timid, mousy ways. Over numerous ...
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2021 WHO guidelines on genetically modified mosquitoes

M. Makoni,  The Lancet Microbe,  2:e353. 2021.
On May 19, 2021, WHO updated its guidelines for research and development on genetically modified mosquitoes, which define the standards for decision-making about how and when testing should proceed and describe best practices to ensure that research done in a public health ...
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Host-associated differentiation of target pests should be assessed before using gene drive as a pest control tool – an opinion

R. F. Medina,  Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata,  2021.
Abstract Advances in gene editing have made feasible the potential use of gene drive for pest control. Ecological risk assessments will certainly be required before this technology can be released into open fields. In this article I argue for the importance to include ...
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Transgenic expression of Nix converts genetic females into males and allows automated sex sorting in Aedes albopictus

C. Lutrat, R. P. Olmo, T. Baldet, J. Bouyer and E. Marois,  bioRxiv,  2021.07.28.454191. 2021.
Aedes albopictus is a major vector of arboviruses. Better understanding of its sex determination is crucial for developing mosquito control tools, especially genetic sexing strains. In Aedes aegypti, Nix is the primary gene responsible for masculinization and Nix-expressing ...
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Horizontal Transmission of the Symbiont Microsporidia MB in Anopheles arabiensis

G. Nattoh, T. Maina, E. E. Makhulu, L. Mbaisi, E. Mararo, F. G. Otieno, T. Bukhari, T. O. Onchuru, E. Teal, J. Paredes, J. L. Bargul, D. M. Mburu, E. A. Onyango, G. Magoma, S. P. Sinkins and J. K. Herren,  Frontiers in Microbiology,  12. 2021.
The recently discovered Anopheles symbiont, Microsporidia MB, has a strong malaria transmission-blocking phenotype in Anopheles arabiensis, the predominant Anopheles gambiae species complex member in many active transmission areas in eastern Africa. The ability of Microsporidia ...
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Gene-drive suppression of mosquito populations in large cages as a bridge between lab and field

A. Hammond, P. Pollegioni, T. Persampieri, A. North, R. Minuz, A. Trusso, A. Bucci, K. Kyrou, I. Morianou, A. Simoni, T. Nolan, R. Müller and A. Crisanti,  Nature Communications,  12:4589. 2021.
CRISPR-based gene-drives targeting the gene doublesex in the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae effectively suppressed the reproductive capability of mosquito populations reared in small laboratory cages. To bridge the gap between laboratory and the field, this gene-drive ...
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Oxitec and MosquitoMate in the United States: lessons for the future of gene drive mosquito control

C. E. Schairer, J. Najera, A. A. James, O. S. Akbari and C. S. Bloss,  Pathogens and Global Health,  2021.
ABSTRACTIn response to growing concerns regarding mosquito-borne diseases, scientists are developing novel systems of vector control. Early examples include Oxitec?s OX513A genetically-engineered mosquito and MosquitoMate?s Wolbachia-infected mosquito, and systems using ...
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Selection of sites for field trials of genetically engineered mosquitoes with gene drive

G. C. Lanzaro, M. Campos, M. Crepeau, A. Cornel, A. Estrada, H. Gripkey, Z. Haddad, A. Kormos and S. Palomares,  Evolutionary Applications,  15. 2021.
Novel malaria control strategies using genetically engineered mosquitoes (GEMs) are on the horizon. Population modification is one approach wherein mosquitoes are engineered with genes rendering them refractory to the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, coupled with a ...
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