Keywords: CRISPR

Scientists use gene editing tool to target mosquito-spread disease

Medical Research Council,  Phys Org,  2021.
Advances in genome editing have allowed the development of genetic insect control methods, which could be highly effective and are species-specific. The results have been published in Scientific Reports. Scientists showed that a method involving a gene editing tool called ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Mosquitoes Sterilized by CRISPR Powered Precision System

A. A. Sarkar,  Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News,  2021.
Each year millions around the world are infected by dengue, chikungunya, and Zika viruses. The principal culprit behind the transmission of these deadly diseases is the mosquito vector, Aedes aegypti. Conventional methods of pest control have so far fallen short. To curb the ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

New precision-guided sterile insect technique designed to control disease-spreading mosquitoes

E. Henderson,  News Medical Life Sciences,  2021.
Leveraging advancements in CRISPR-based genetic engineering, researchers at the University of California San Diego have created a new system that restrains populations of mosquitoes that infect millions each year with debilitating diseases. The new precision-guided sterile ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Genetic engineering tech promises to sterilize disease-spreading mosquitoes

B. Hays,  UPI,  2021.
Inspired by improvements in CRISPR-based genetic engineering, scientists have developed a more precise insect sterilization system to curtail, or even eliminate, disease-spreading Aedes aegypti mosquito populations. The so-called "precision-guided sterile insect technique," or ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Genetic Engineering Technology Promises To Sterilize Disease-Spreading Mosquito Populations

D. Gyllhem,  VIGOURTIMES,  2021.
Inspired by improvements in CRISPR-based genetic engineering, scientists have developed a more precise insect sterilization system to curtail, or even eliminate, disease-spreading Aedes aegypti mosquito populations. The so-called “precision-guided sterile insect technique,” ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

New Technology Designed to Genetically Control Disease-spreading Mosquitoes

M. Aguilera,  UC San Diego News Center,  2021.
Leveraging advancements in CRISPR-based genetic engineering, researchers at the University of California San Diego have created a new system that restrains populations of mosquitoes that infect millions each year with debilitating diseases. An illustration by study coauthor ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Suppressing mosquito populations with precision guided sterile males

M. Li, T. Yang, M. Bui, S. Gamez, T. Wise, N. P. Kandul, J. Liu, L. Alcantara, H. Lee, J. R. Edula, R. Raban, Y. Zhan, Y. Wang, N. DeBeaubien, J. Chen, H. M. Sánchez C, J. B. Bennett, I. Antoshechkin, C. Montell, J. M. Marshall and O. S. Akbari,  Nature Communications,  12:5374. 2021.
The mosquito Aedes aegypti is the principal vector for arboviruses including dengue/yellow fever, chikungunya, and Zika virus, infecting hundreds of millions of people annually. Unfortunately, traditional control methodologies are insufficient, so innovative control methods are ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Gene drive escape from resistance depends on mechanism and ecology

F. Cook, J. J. Bull and R. Gomulkiewicz,  bioRxiv,  2021.08.30.458221. 2021.
Gene drives can potentially be used to suppress pest populations, and the advent of CRISPR technology has made it feasible to engineer them in many species, especially insects. What remains largely unknown for implementations is whether anti-drive resistance will evolve to block ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

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; ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

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 ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

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 ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Resistance to a CRISPR-based gene drive at an evolutionarily conserved site is revealed by mimicking genotype fixation

S. Fuchs, W. Garrood, A. Beber, A. Hammond, R. Galizi, M. Gribble, G. Morselli, T.-Y. Hui, K. Willis, N. Kranjc, A. Burt, T. Nolan and A. Crisanti,  bioRxiv,  2021.
CRISPR-based homing gene drives can be designed to disrupt essential genes whilst biasing their own inheritance, leading to suppression of mosquito populations in the laboratory. This class of gene drives relies on CRISPR-Cas9 cleavage of a target sequence and copying ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

CRISPR/Cas-9 mediated knock-in by homology dependent repair in the West Nile Virus vector Culex quinquefasciatus Say

D.-K. Purusothaman, L. Shackleford, M. A. E. Anderson, T. Harvey-Samuel and L. Alphey,  Scientific Reports,  11:14964. 2021.
Culex quinquefasciatus Say is a mosquito distributed in both tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It is a night-active, opportunistic blood-feeder and vectors many animal and human diseases, including West Nile Virus and avian malaria. Current vector control methods ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

A Sterile Solution: How Crispr Could Protect Wild Salmon

L. Abend,  UNDARK,  2021.
In an attempt to prevent escaped fish from interbreeding with their wild counterparts and threatening the latter’s genetic diversity, molecular biologist Anna Wargelius and her team at the Institute of Marine Research in Norway have spent years working on ways to induce ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Scientists develop new technology that gives greater control for managing malaria mosquitoes

Keele University,  Phy Org,  2021.
Researchers including a Keele University scientist have engineered an innovative approach to disable highly powerful genetic devices that control harmful insect populations. Dr. Roberto Galizi from Keele's School of Life Sciences was part of a research team that previously ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

A genetically encoded anti-CRISPR protein constrains gene drive spread and prevents population suppression

C. Taxiarchi, A. Beaghton, N. I. Don, K. Kyrou, M. Gribble, D. Shittu, S. P. Collins, C. L. Beisel, R. Galizi and A. Crisanti,  Nature Communications,  12:3977. 2021.
CRISPR-based gene drives offer promising means to reduce the burden of pests and vector-borne diseases. These techniques consist of releasing genetically modified organisms carrying CRISPR-Cas nucleases designed to bias their inheritance and rapidly propagate desired ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

UC San Diego scientists develop the first CRISPR/Cas9-based gene drive in plants

M. Aguilera,  UC San Diego News Center,  2021.
With a goal of breeding resilient crops that are better able to withstand drought and disease, University of California San Diego scientists have developed the first CRISPR-Cas9-based gene drive in plants. While gene drive technology has been developed in insects to help stop the ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Using gene drives to control malaria

A. Fell,  Daily News,  2021.
A group of UC scientists led by Greg Lanzaro, professor of pathology, microbiology and immunology in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, recently completed an analysis of a strategy aimed at eliminating malaria from Africa using genetically engineered mosquitoes. ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Selective inheritance of target genes from only one parent of sexually reproduced F1 progeny in Arabidopsis

T. Zhang, M. Mudgett, R. Rambabu, B. Abramson, X. Dai, T. P. Michael and Y. Zhao,  Nature Communications,  12:3854. 2021.
Sexual reproduction constrains progeny to inherit allelic genes from both parents. Selective acquisition of target genes from only one parent in the F1 generation of plants has many potential applications including the elimination of undesired alleles and acceleration of trait ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Sustainable Food Production: The Contribution of Genome Editing in Livestock

A. Menchaca,  Sustainability,  13. 2021.
This article is focused on the scope and perspectives for the application of this technology, which includes improving production traits, enhancing animal welfare through adaptation and resilience, conferring resistance to infectious diseases, and suppressing pests and invasive ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Population modification strategies for malaria vector control are uniquely resilient to observed levels of gene drive resistance alleles

G. C. Lanzaro, H. M. Sánchez C, T. C. Collier, J. M. Marshall and A. A. James,  BioEssays,  2021.
Cas9/guide RNA (gRNA)-based gene drive systems are expected to play a transformative role in malaria elimination efforts., whether through population modification, in which the drive system contains parasite-refractory genes, or population suppression, in which the drive system ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Temperature-Inducible Precision Guided Sterile Insect Technique

N. P. Kandul, J. Liu and O. S. Akbari,  bioRxiv,  2021.06.14.448312. 2021.
Releases of sterile males are the gold standard for many insect population control programs, and precise sex sorting to remove females prior to male releases is essential to the success of these operations. To advance traditional methods for scaling the generation of sterile ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

New CRISPR Tools Can Help Contain Mosquito Disease Transmission

Anonymous,  labcompare,  2021.
Scientists have now developed several genetic editing tools that help pave the way to an eventual gene drive designed to stop Culex mosquitoes from spreading disease. As detailed in the journal Nature Communications, Xuechun Feng, Valentino Gantz and their colleagues at Harvard ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Analysis of off-target effects in CRISPR-based gene drives in the human malaria mosquito

W. T. Garrood, N. Kranjc, K. Petri, D. Y. Kim, J. A. Guo, A. M. Hammond, I. Morianou, V. Pattanayak, J. K. Joung, A. Crisanti and A. Simoni,  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,  118:e2004838117. 2021.
CRISPR-Cas9 nuclease-based gene drives have been developed toward the aim of control of the human malaria vector Anopheles gambiae. Gene drives are based on an active source of Cas9 nuclease in the germline that promotes super-Mendelian inheritance of the transgene by ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Researchers Create New CRISPR Tools to Help Contain Mosquito Disease Transmission

M. Aguilera,  UC San Diego News Center,  2021.
Much less genetic engineering has been devoted to Culex genus mosquitoes, which spread devastating afflictions stemming from West Nile virus—the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States—as well as other viruses such as the Japanese encephalitis ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

New CRISPR tools help contain mosquito disease transmission: Genetics toolkit targets less researched Culex mosquitoes, which transmit West Nile virus and avian malaria.

University of California - San Diego,  ScienceDaily,  2021.
Since the onset of the CRISPR genetic editing revolution, scientists have been working to leverage the technology in the development of gene drives that target pathogen-spreading mosquitoes such as Anopheles and Aedes species, which spread malaria, dengue and other ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Optimized CRISPR tools and site-directed transgenesis towards gene drive development in Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes

X. Feng, V. López Del Amo, E. Mameli, M. Lee, A. L. Bishop, N. Perrimon and V. M. Gantz,  Nature Communications,  12:2960. 2021.
Culex mosquitoes are a global vector for multiple human and animal diseases, including West Nile virus, lymphatic filariasis, and avian malaria, posing a constant threat to public health, livestock, companion animals, and endangered birds. While rising insecticide resistance has ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Targeting conserved sequences circumvents the evolution of resistance in a viral gene drive against human cytomegalovirus

M. Walter, R. Perrone and E. Verdin,  Journal of virology,  2021.
Here, we analyze in cell culture experiments the evolution of resistance in a viral 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 ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Genetic Technologies for Sustainable Management of Insect Pests and Disease Vectors

S. Grilli, R. Galizi and C. Taxiarchi,  Sustainability,  13. 2021.
Recent advancements in genetic and genome editing research, augmented by the discovery of new molecular tools such as CRISPR, have revolutionised the field of genetic engineering by enabling precise site-specific genome modifications with unprecedented ease. These technologies ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Genetic Manipulation of Ticks: A Paradigm Shift in Tick and Tick-Borne Diseases Research

A. Nuss, A. Sharma and M. Gulia-Nuss,  Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology,  11:7. 2021.
Ticks are obligate hematophagous arthropods that are distributed worldwide and are one of the most important vectors of pathogens affecting humans and animals. Despite the growing burden of tick-borne diseases, research on ticks has lagged behind other arthropod vectors, such as ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Systematic identification of plausible pathways to potential harm via problem formulation for investigational releases of a population suppression gene drive to control the human malaria vector Anopheles gambiae in West Africa

J. B. Connolly, J. D. Mumford, S. Fuchs, G. Turner, C. Beech, A. R. North and A. Burt,  Malaria Journal,  20:170. 2021.
Population suppression gene drive has been proposed as a strategy for malaria vector control. A CRISPR-Cas9-based transgene homing at the doublesex locus (dsxFCRISPRh) has recently been shown to increase rapidly in frequency in, and suppress, caged laboratory populations of the ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Driving to Safety: CRISPR-Based Genetic Approaches to Reducing Antibiotic Resistance

E. Bier and V. Nizet,  Trends in Genetics,  2021.
The complex and challenging problem of reducing antibiotic resistance (AR) requires a network of both societal and science-based solutions to preserve the most lifesaving pharmaceutical intervention known to medicine. In addition to developing new classes of antibiotics, it is ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Ultra-conserved sequences in the genomes of highly diverse Anopheles mosquitoes, with implications for malaria vector control

S. M. O'Loughlin, A. J. Forster, S. Fuchs, T. Dottorini, T. Nolan, A. Crisanti and A. Burt,  G3-Genes Genomes Genetics,  2021.
Here we search for conserved sequences of 18bp and over in an alignment of 21 Anopheles genomes, spanning an evolutionary timescale of 100 million years, and characterise the resulting sequences according to their location and function. Over 8000 ultra-conserved elements were ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Meiotic Cas9 expression mediates genotype conversion in the male and female mouse germline.

A. J. Weitzel, H. A. Grunwald, R. Levina, V. M. Gantz, S. M. Hedrick, E. Bier and K. L. Cooper,  2021.03.16.435716,  2021.
We previously showed that such a system of genotype conversion from heterozygous to homozygous after a sequence targeted CRISPR/Cas9 double strand DNA break is feasible in the female mouse germline. In the male germline, however, all double strand breaks were instead repaired by ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Evading resistance to gene drives

R. Gomulkiewicz, M. L. Thies and J. J. Bull,  Genetics,  217. 2021.
Here, we develop mathematical and computational models to identify conditions under which suppression drives will evade resistance, even if resistance is present initially. Previous models assumed resistance is allelic to the drive. We relax this assumption and show that linkage ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Genetically Encoded CRISPR components Yield Efficient Gene Editing in the Invasive Pest, Drosophila suzukii

N. P. Kandul, E. J. Belikoff, J. Liu, A. Buchman, F. Li, A. Yamamoto, T. Yang, I. Shriner, M. J. Scott and O. Akbari,  bioRxiv,  2021.03.15.435483. 2021.
Here we have developed transgenic strains that encode three different terminators and four different promoters to express Cas9 in both the soma and/or germline of SWD. The Cas9 lines were evaluated through genetic crossing to transgenic lines that encode single guide RNAs ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Gene Drives Built to Follow More Stringent Rules of the Road

Anonymous,  Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News,  2021.
Gene drives, or systems that accelerate the spread of desirable genetic traits into a population, may be built to achieve specific levels of spread when released into the wild. By exerting control over the degree of spread, those who unleash gene drives may realize the benefits ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

New gene-drive technologies can help control crop pests

Anonymous,  AZO Life Sciences,  2021.
The supposed gene drives, which exploit CRISPR technology to affect genetic inheritance, show the potential to quickly spread particular genetic traits across the populations of a specified species. For instance, gene-drive technologies used on insects are being developed to stop ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

New ‘Split-drive’ System Puts Scientists in the (Gene) Driver Seat

M. Aguilera,  UC San Diego News Center,  2021.
Gene-drive technologies applied in insects, for example, are being designed to halt the spread of devastating diseases such as malaria and dengue by preventing mosquito hosts from becoming infected. In agricultural fields, gene-drives are being developed to help control or ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

A confinable home and rescue gene drive for population modification

N. P. Kandul, J. Liu, J. B. Bennett, J. M. Marshall and O. S. Akbari,  eLife,  10:e65939. 2021.
Homing based gene drives, engineered using CRISPR/Cas9, have been proposed to spread desirable genes throughout populations. However, invasion of such drives can be hindered by the accumulation of resistant alleles. To limit this obstacle, we engineer a confinable population ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Developing GDi-CRISPR System for Multi-copy Integration in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Z.-X. Zhang, Y.-Z. Wang, Y.-S. Xu, X.-M. Sun and H. Huang,  Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology,  2021.
This study aims to develop a low-cost and easy-to-use multi-copy integration tool in S. cerevisiae. Firstly, twenty-one Cas proteins from different microorganisms were tested in S. cerevisiae to find the functional Cas proteins with optimal cleavage ability. Results showed that ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Designing gene drives to limit spillover to non-target populations

G. Greenbaum, M. W. Feldman, N. A. Rosenberg and J. Kim,  PLOS Genetics,  17:e1009278. 2021.
We develop mathematical models of gene-drive dynamics that incorporate migration between a target and non-target populations to investigate the possibility of effectively applying a gene drive in the target population while limiting its spillovers to the non-target population ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Population genomics of invasive rodents on islands: Genetic consequences of colonization and prospects for localized synthetic gene drive

K. P. Oh, A. B. Shiels, L. Shiels, D. V. Blondel, K. J. Campbell, J. R. Saah, A. L. Lloyd, P. Q. Thomas, F. Gould, Z. Abdo, J. R. Godwin and A. J. Piaggio,  Evolutionary Applications,  2021.
Here we used pooled whole-genome sequencing of invasive mouse (Mus musculus) populations on four islands along with paired putative source populations to test genetic predictions of island colonization and characterize locally fixed Cas9 genomic targets. Patterns of variation ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Scientifically framed gene drive communication perceived as credible but riskier

E. A. MacDonald, E. D. Edwards, J. Balanovic and F. Medvecky,  People and Nature,  2021.
Framing is a communication technique in which certain beliefs or values are emphasized that resonate with the target audience. Framing may increase how much people objectively think about new information and update their opinions; framing may mitigate emo
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Optimized CRISPR tools and site-directed transgenesis in Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes for gene drive development

X. Feng, V. Lopez Del Amo, E. Mameli, M. Lee, A. L. Bishop, N. Perrimon and V. M. Gantz,  bioRxiv,  2021.02.10.430702. 2021.
Here, we developed a Culex-specific Cas9/gRNA expression toolkit and used site-directed homology-based transgenesis to generate and validate a Culex quinquefasciatus Cas9-expressing line. We showed that gRNA scaffold variants improve transgenesis efficiency in both Culex and ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

A Code of Ethics for Gene Drive Research

G. J. Annas, C. L. Beisel, K. Clement, A. Crisanti, S. Francis, M. Galardini, R. Galizi, J. Grünewald, G. Immobile, A. S. Khalil, R. Müller, V. Pattanayak, K. Petri, L. Paul, L. Pinello, A. Simoni, C. Taxiarchi and J. K. Joung,  The CRISPR Journal,  2021.
A code of ethics can be a useful tool for all parties involved in the development and regulation of gene drives and can be used to help ensure that a balanced analysis of risks, benefits, and values is taken into consideration for the interest of society and humanity. We have ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Assisting Evolution: How Far Should We Go to Help Species Adapt?

E. Kolbert,  YaleEnvironment360,  2021.
It was a hot, intensely blue day in the Australian Outback, about 350 miles north of Adelaide. I was tagging along with Moseby as she checked the batteries on the motion-sensitive cameras that dot Arid Recovery, an ecosystem restoration project she and her husband launched in ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Should we dim the sun? Will we even have a choice

E. Klein,  New York Times,  2021.
“Under a White Sky” is going to be on my best books of 2021 list. It’s a wonderful work. Kolbert is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Sixth Extinction,” which you may have read. She is a staff writer at The New Yorker and just one of the great science ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

In Our Image: The Ethics of CRISPR Genome Editing

J. C. Eissenberg,  Biomolecular Concepts,  12:1-7. 2021.
Here, I discuss the ethics surrounding the transformative CRISPR/Cas9mediated genome editing technology in the contexts of human genome editing to eradicate genetic disease and of gene drive technology to eradicate animal vectors of human disease.
Keywords: , , , , , ,

CRISPR and the splice to survive: New gene-editing technology could be used to save species from extinction—or to eliminate them.

E. Kolbert,  New Yorker,  2021.
About a year ago, not long before the pandemic began, I paid a visit to the center, which is an hour southwest of Melbourne. The draw was an experiment on a species of giant toad known familiarly as the cane toad. The toad was introduced to Australia as an agent of pest control, ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

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 ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

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 ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Vector dynamics influence spatially imperfect genetic interventions against disease

M. K. Yuksel, C. H. Remien, B. Karki, J. J. Bull and S. M. Krone,  Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health,  9:1-10. 2020.
In spatially structured populations, imperfect coverage of the vector will leave pockets in which the parasite may persist. Movement by humans may disrupt this local persistence and facilitate eradication when these pockets are small, spreading parasite reproduction outside ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

New GE unintentionally leaves traces in cells

C. Then,  Testbiotech,  2020.
A new scientific publication shows that CRISPR/Cas gene scissor applications in animals unintentionally leave traces. The findings are not related to unintended changes in the DNA, which have often been described, but to gene regulation, i.e. epigenetics. The effects are ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

New insect species made via genetic engineering

L. Leffer,  SCIENCELINE,  2020.
A biotech fast-forward button for evolution is on the horizon. Researchers say they have used a novel genetic engineering method to create several new species of fruit fly in the lab for the first time — an achievement which might help put a future without malaria and other ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

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. ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

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 ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Evading resistance to gene drives

R. Gomulkiewicz, M. L. Thies and J. J. Bull,  bioRxiv,  2020.08.27.270611. 2020.
Our analyses suggest that among gene drives that cause moderate suppression, toxin-antidote systems are less apt to select for resistance than homing drives. Single drives of moderate effect might cause only moderate population suppression, but multiple drives (perhaps delivered ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Design and analysis of CRISPR-based underdominance toxin-antidote gene drives

J. Champer, S. E. Champer, I. K. Kim, A. G. Clark and P. W. Messer,  Evolutionary Applications,  18. 2020.
We model drives which target essential genes that are either haplosufficient or haplolethal, using nuclease promoters with expression restricted to the germline, promoters that additionally result in cleavage activity in the early embryo from maternal deposition, and promoters ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Mosquito population modification: the drive to malaria eradication

A. A. James,  BugBitten BMC,  2020.
We have had considerable success in the past demonstrating that we can use modern molecular biological and insect transgenesis tools to make genes that prevent mosquitoes from passing on parasites (see 1 and 2). We have focused most recently on laboratory experiments to find ways ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Gene drive blocks malaria transmission in mosquitoes

labonline,  labonline,  2020.
Employing a strategy known as ‘population modification’, which involves using a CRISPR-Cas9 gene drive system to introduce genes preventing parasite transmission into mosquito chromosomes, University of California (UC) researchers have made a major advance in the use of ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Evading evolution of resistance to gene drives

R. Gomulkiewicz, M. L. Thies and J. J. Bull,  bioRxiv,  2020.08.27.270611. 2020.
Our analyses suggest that among gene drives that cause moderate suppression, toxin-antidote systems are less apt to select for resistance than homing drives. Single drives of this type would achieve only partial population suppression, but multiple drives (perhaps delivered ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

A gene-drive rescue system for the modification of malaria mosquito populations

A. Adolfi,  Nature Research Bioengineering Community,  2020.
Mosquito populations can now be reliably modified using 1) antimalarial molecules that block parasite development and 2) a CRISPR-based gene drive system that mediates their rapid spreading across the vector population.
Keywords: , , , , , ,

UC researchers pioneer more effective method of blocking malaria transmission in mosquitoes

UCI,  UCI News,  2020.
University of California, Irvine postdoctoral researcher Adriana Adolfi, in collaboration with colleagues at UCI, UC Berkeley and UC San Diego, followed up on the group’s pioneering effort to develop CRISPR-based gene drive systems for making mosquito vectors resistant to ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Efficient population modification gene-drive rescue system in the malaria mosquito Anopheles stephensi

A. Adolfi, V. M. Gantz, N. Jasinskiene, H.-F. Lee, K. Hwang, G. Terradas, E. A. Bulger, A. Ramaiah, J. B. Bennett, J. J. Emerson, J. M. Marshall, E. Bier and A. A. James,  Nature Communications,  11:5553. 2020.
Here, we develop a recoded gene-drive rescue system for population modification of the malaria vector, Anopheles stephensi, that relieves the load in females caused by integration of the drive into the kynurenine hydroxylase gene by rescuing its function. Non-functional resistant ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Gene Drive: The What, How, Why, and Whether We Should

N. Pazhayam,  The Pipettepen,  2020.
Under regular Mendelian inheritance, the probability of inheriting a particular allele from a heterozygous parent is 50% – this is because offspring can only inherit one or the other chromosome from each parent. However, gene drive is a technology that changes this probability ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

WHO Refers to GM Mosquitoes as Beneficial Technology

ISAAA,  Crop Biotech Update,  2020.
The World Health Organization (WHO) released its official statement to clarify its stance on the evaluation and use of genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes and its use to control vector-borne diseases (VBD). WHO says it supports the investigation of all potentially beneficial ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Position of ARRIGE Scientific Committee on Gene Drive

ARRIGE Scientific Committee on Gene Drive,  ARRIGE Newsletter,  2020.
We are facing a change of paradigm that must lead us to be responsible for altered inheritance and the hybridization between artefacts, considered as natural or artificial, at the very moment when this division itself is blurred by the engineering capacity to act on mutations, ...
Keywords: , , , , , ,

Progress Toward Zygotic and Germline Gene Drives in Mice

C. Pfitzner, M. A. White, S. G. Piltz, M. Scherer, F. Adikusuma, J. N. Hughes and P. Q. Thomas,  The CRISPR Journal,  3:388-397. 2020.