Keywords: gene drive genetics

Split versions of Cleave and Rescue selfish genetic elements for measured self limiting gene drive

G. Oberhofer, T. Ivy and B. A. Hay,  PLoS genetics,  17:e1009385. 2021.
Self-sustaining Cleave and Rescue (ClvR) elements include a DNA sequence-modifying enzyme such as Cas9/gRNAs that disrupts endogenous versions of an essential gene, a tightly linked recoded version of the essential gene resistant to cleavage (the Rescue), and a Cargo. ClvR ...
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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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Gene Drives across engineered fitness valleys: Modeling a design to prevent drive spillover.

F. J. H. de Haas and S. Otto,  bioRxiv,  2020.10.29.360404. 2020.
We model a proposed drive system that transitions in time from a low threshold drive system (homing-based gene drive) to a high threshold drive system (underdominance) using daisy chain technology. This combination leads to a spatially restricted drive strategy while maintaining ...
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MGDrivE 2: A simulation framework for gene drive systems incorporating seasonality and epidemiological dynamics

S. L. Wu, J. B. Bennett, H. M. Sanchez C, A. J. Dolgert, T. M. Leon and J. M. Marshall,  bioRxiv,  2020.10.16.343376. 2020.
We present MGDrivE 2 (Mosquito Gene Drive Explorer 2): an extension of and development from the MGDrivE 1 simulation framework that investigates the population dynamics of a variety of gene drive architectures and their spread through spatially-explicit mosquito populations.
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The potential for a CRISPR gene drive to eradicate or suppress globally invasive social wasps

P. J. Lester, M. Bulgarella, J. W. Baty, P. K. Dearden, J. Guhlin and J. M. Kean,  Scientific Reports,  10:12398. 2020.
P. J. Lester, M. Bulgarella, J. W. Baty, P. K. Dearden, J. Guhlin and J. M. Kean (2020). Scientific Reports. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-69259-6 Gene drives have potential for widespread and cost-efficient pest control, but are highly controversial. We examined a potential gene ...
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2-Locus Cleave and Rescue; selfish elements harness a recombination rate-dependent generational clock for self limiting gene drive

G. Oberhofer, T. Ivy and B. A. Hay,  bioRxiv,  2020.
Self-limiting gene drive allows control over the spread and fate of linked traits. Cleave and Rescue (ClvR) elements create self-sustaining drive and comprise a DNA sequence-modifying enzyme (Cas9-gRNAs, Cleaver) that disrupts an essential gene, and a tightly linked, uncleavable ...
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Analysis of a Strong Suppressor of Segregation Distorter inDrosophila melanogaster

R. G. Temin,  Genetics,  215:1085-1105. 2020.
These studies highlight the polygenic nature of distortion and its dependence on a constellation of positive and negative modifiers, provide insight into the stability of Mendelian transmission in natural populations even when a drive system arises, and pave the way for molecular ...
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Malaria mosquitoes eliminated in lab by creating all male populations

H. Dunning,  Imperial College London,  2020.
A team led by Imperial College London spread a genetic modification that distorts the sex ratio through a population of caged Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes using ‘gene drive’ technology.
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Gene drive outcomes not determined by genetic variation – A Podcast

Thomas Locke,  Malaria Minute,  2020.
Gene drives are a system of genetic modification that use ‘molecular scissors’ to edit DNA sequences that self-perpetuate to ensure the rapid spread of mutation in a population. They offer new avenues for eradicating vector-borne diseases like malaria. They rely on the Cas9 ...
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The yeast mating-type switching endonuclease HO is a domesticated member of an unorthodox homing genetic element family

A. Y. Coughlan, L. Lombardi, S. Braun-Galleani, A. A. R. Martos, V. Galeote, F. Bigey, S. Dequin, K. P. Byrne and K. H. Wolfe,  eLife,  9:e55336. 2020.
The mating-type switching endonuclease HO plays a central role in the natural life cycle of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, but its evolutionary origin is unknown. HO is a recent addition to yeast genomes, present in only a few genera close to Saccharomyces. Here we show that HO is ...
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Genetic variation not an obstacle to gene drive strategy to control mosquitoes

University of California Davis,  ScienceDaily,  2020.
New research from entomologists at UC Davis clears a potential obstacle to using CRISPR-Cas9 "gene drive" technology to control mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever and Zika.
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Development and testing of a novel killer–rescue self-limiting gene drive system in Drosophila melanogaster

S. H. Webster, M. R. Vella and M. J. Scott,  Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences,  287:20192994. 2020.
Here we report the development and testing of a novel self-limiting gene drive system, Killer–Rescue (K–R), in Drosophila melanogaster. This system is composed of an autoregulated Gal4 Killer (K) and a Gal4-activated Gal80 Rescue (R). Overexpression of Gal4 is lethal, but in ...
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Natural gene drives offer potential pathogen control strategies in plants

D. M. Gardiner, A. Rusu, L. Barrett, G. C. Hunter and K. Kazan,  bioRxiv,  2020.
Globally, fungal pathogens cause enormous crop losses and current control practices are not always effective, economical or environmentally sustainable. Tools enabling genetic management of wild pathogen populations could potentially solve many problems associated with plant ...
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Gene drive and resilience through renewal with next generation Cleave and Rescue selfish genetic elements

G. Oberhofer, T. Ivy and B. A. Hay,  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,  117:9013-9021. 2020.
Gene drive can spread beneficial traits through populations, but will never be a one-shot project in which one genetic element provides all desired modifications, for an indefinitely long time. Here, we show that gene drive-mediated population modification in Drosophila can be ...
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Experimental manipulation of selfish genetic elements links genes to microbial community function

S. D. Quistad, G. Doulcier and P. B. Rainey,  Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences,  375:12. 2020.
Microbial communities underpin the Earth's biological and geochemical processes, but their complexity hampers understanding. Motivated by the challenge of diversity and the need to forge ways of capturing dynamical behaviour connecting genes to function, biologically independent ...
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Anti-CRISPR protein applications: natural brakes for CRISPR-Cas technologies

Marino, N. D., Pinilla-Redondo, R. , Csorgo, B., Bondy-Denomy, J.,  Nature Methods,  2020.
Clustered, regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated (Cas) genes, a diverse family of prokaryotic adaptive immune systems, have emerged as a biotechnological tool and therapeutic. The discovery of protein inhibitors of CRISPR-Cas systems, ...
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A fly model establishes distinct mechanisms for synthetic CRISPR/Cas9 sex distorters

B. Fasulo, A. Meccariello, M. Morgan, C. Borufka, P. A. Papathanos and N. Windbichler,  PLOS Genetics,  16:e1008647. 2020.
Author summary Harmful insect populations can be eliminated for a lack of females if they are made to produce mostly male offspring. There are genes that occur naturally that make males produce mostly sons and, although we don’t know exactly how they work, this appears to ...
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Evaluating the Probability of CRISPR-based Gene Drive Contaminating Another Species

V. Courtier-Orgogozo, A. Danchin, P.-H. Gouyon and C. Boëte,  Evolutionary Applications,  Early Online. 2020.