Keywords: insects

How do you make a gene drive mosquito?

GeneConvene Virtual Institute,  GeneConvene Global Collaborative,  2020.
This short video explains and illustrates how transgenic mosquitoes are made in the laboratory.  While mosquitoes are the focus of the video, the process shown is used to create transgenic insects of almost any species.
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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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Assessment of a Split Homing Based Gene Drive for Efficient Knockout of Multiple Genes

N. P. Kandul, J. Liu, A. Buchman, V. M. Gantz, E. Bier and O. S. Akbari,  G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics,  10:827-837. 2019.
Homing based gene drives (HGD) possess the potential to spread linked cargo genes into natural populations and are poised to revolutionize population control of animals. Given that host encoded genes have been identified that are important for pathogen transmission, targeting ...
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Fitness consequences of a non-recombining sex-ratio drive chromosome can explain its prevalence in the wild

Dyer, K. A. and D. W. Hall,  Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences,  286:20192529. 2019.
Understanding the pleiotropic consequences of gene drive systems on host fitness is essential to predict their spread through a host population. Here, we study sex-ratio (SR) X-chromosome drive in the fly Drosophila recens, where SR causes the death of Y-bearing sperm in male ...
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A cross-sectional survey of biosafety professionals regarding genetically modified insects

O’Brochta, D. A., W. K. Tonui, B. Dass and S. James,  Applied Biosafety,  2019:1-9. 2019.
Background:Genetic technologies such as gene editing and gene drive create challenges for existing frameworks used to assess risk and make regulatory determinations by governments and institutions. Insect genetic technologies including transgenics, gene editing, and gene drive ...
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The potential for a released autosomal X-shredder becoming a driving-Y chromosome and invasively suppressing wild populations of malaria mosquitoes

Alcalay, Y., S. Fuchs, R. Galizi, F. Bernardini, R. E. Haghighat-Khah, D. B. Rusch, J. R. Adrion, M. W. Hahn, P. Tortosa and P. A. Papathanos,  bioRxiv,  2019:860551. 2019.
Synthetic sex-ratio distorters based on X-chromosome shredding are predicted to be more efficient than sterile males for population suppression of malaria mosquitoes using genetic control. X chromosome shredding operates through the targeted elimination of X-chromosome-bearing ...
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Maintenance of fertility in the face of meiotic drive

Meade, L., S. Finnegan, R. Kad, K. Fowler and A. Pomiankowsk,  The American Naturalist,  2019:2019. 2019.
Selfish genetic elements that gain a transmission advantage through the destruction of sperm have grave implications for drive male fertility. In the X-linked SR meiotic drive system of a stalk-eyed fly, we found that drive males have greatly enlarged testes and maintain high ...
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An assessment of the immune costs associated with meiotic drive elements in Drosophila

Lea, J. K. and R. L. Unckless,  Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences,  286:20191534. 2019.
Most organisms are constantly adapting to pathogens and parasites that exploit their host for their own benefit. Less studied, but perhaps more ubiquitous, are intragenomic parasites or selfish genetic elements. These include transposable elements, selfish B chromosomes and ...
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Invasive insects: Management methods explored

McLaughlin, G. M. and P. K. Dearden,  Journal of Insect Science,  19:1-9. 2019.
Invasive insect species can act as a plague across the globe, capable of vast expansion and rapid, proliferate reproduction. The spread of pathogens of serious diseases such as malaria and Zika virus and damages to agricultural crops number some of the afflictions invasive ...
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Identification and characterisation of a Masculinizer homolog in the diamondback moth Plutella xylostella

Harvey-Samuel, T., V. C. Norman, R. Carter, E. Lovett and L. Alphey,  Insect Molecular Biology,  2019:2019. 2019.
Recently, a novel sex-determination system was identified in the silkworm (Bombyx mori) in which a piRNA encoded on the female-specific W chromosome silences a Z-linked gene (Masculinizer) which would otherwise initiate male sex-determination and dosage compensation. ...
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A novel drug-inducible sex separation technique for insects

Kandul, N. P., J. Liu, A. D. Hsu, B. A. Hay and O. S. Akbari,  bioRxiv,  2019:2019.12.13.875716. 2019.
Large sterile male releases are the gold standard for most insect population control methods and thus precise sex sorting is essential to the success of these technologies. Sex sorting is especially important for mosquito control because female mosquitoes bite and transmit ...
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The bold plan to end malaria with a gene drive

VOX,  ,  2019.
How genetically engineered mosquitoes might defeat a disease that kills millions of children. This describes gene drive and features work from a group (Target Malaria) that is developing this technology for use against malaria
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Out for blood: the fight against the planet’s deadliest creature

Matsangou, E.,  The New Economy,  2019.
The deadliest creature on the planet is not a great white shark, a starved lion, an enraged hippopotamus or a poisonous snake – it’s the minute mosquito. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), mosquitoes kill millions of people each year, with malaria – the most ...
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Evolutionary simulations of Z-linked suppression gene drives

L. Holman,  Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences,  286:1-9. 2019.
Synthetic gene drives may soon be used to suppress or eliminate populations of disease vectors, pathogens, invasive species, and agricultural pests. Recent proposals have focused on using Z-linked gene drives to control species with ZW sex determination, which include ...
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Assessment of a split homing based gene drive for efficient knockout of multiple genes

Kandul, N. P., J. Liu, A. Buchman, V. M. Gantz, E. Bier and O. S. Akbari,  bioRxiv,  2019:706929. 2019.
Homing based gene drives (HGD) possess the potential to spread linked cargo genes into natural populations and are poised to revolutionize population control of animals. Given that host-encoded genes have been identified that are important for pathogen transmission, targeting ...
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Interpopulation spread of a parasitic B chromosome is unlikely through males in the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans

M. I. Manrique-Poyato, J. Cabrero, M. D. López-León, F. Perfectti, R. Gómez and J. P. M. Camacho,  Heredity,  124:197-206. 2019.
The near-neutral model of B chromosome evolution predicts that population invasion is quite fast. To test this prediction, in 1994, we introduced males of the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans from a B-carrying population into a B-lacking population and monitored the evolution of ...
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Effective strategies for safeguarding CRISPR gene-drive experiments

ScienceDaily,  ScienceDaily,  2019.
Researchers have demonstrated for the first time how two molecular strategies can safeguard CRISPR gene-drive experiments in the lab, according to a new study.
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Genome-wide transcriptome profiling reveals genes associated with meiotic drive system of Aedes aegypti

Shin, DB, K. Susanta; Severson, W. David,  Insects,  10:e25. 2019.
Aedes aegypti is an important mosquito vector of several arboviruses, including dengue, yellow fever, Zika, and Chikungunya, which cause significant human morbidity and mortality globally. In certain populations of this mosquito, a native meiotic drive system causes abnormal ...
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Killing two bugs with one stone: a perspective for targeting multiple pest species by incorporating reproductive interference into sterile insect technique

Honma, AK, N.; Noriyuki, S.,  Pest Management Science,  75:571-577. 2019.
The sterile insect technique is an environmentally friendly method to control and even eradicate agricultural and veterinary insect pests without using chemical pesticides in excess. However, the continuous production and release of sterile insects is economically costly and ...
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The revised arthropod containment guidelines

Higgs, S,  Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases,  19:149-151. 2019.
In 2003, just a few months after I became editor of Vector-; Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, we published the Arthropod; Containment Guidelines, likely our first of what would become; known as an Open Access publication. The concept to; produce the guidelines resulted from a ...
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Gene drives as a response to infection and resistance

Hayirli, TCM, P.F.,  Infection and Drug Resistance,  12:229-234. 2019.
Vector-borne infectious diseases continue to be a major threat to public health. Although some prevention and treatment modalities exist for these diseases, resistance to such modalities, exacerbated by global climate change, remains a fundamental challenge. Developments in ...
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Efficient allelic-drive in Drosophila

Guichard, AH, T.; Bobik, M.; Xu, X. R. S.; Klanseck, C.; Kushwah, R. B. S.; Berni, M.; Kaduskar, B.; Gantz, V. M.; Bier, E.,  Nature Communications,  10:1640. 2019.
Gene-drive systems developed in several organisms result in super-Mendelian inheritance of transgenic insertions. Here, we generalize this "active genetic" approach to preferentially transmit allelic variants (allelic-drive) resulting from only a single or a few nucleotide ...
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Cleave and Rescue, a novel selfish genetic element and general strategy for gene drive

Oberhofer, GI, T.; Hay, B. A.,  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America,  116:6250-6259. 2019.
There is great interest in being able to spread beneficial traits throughout wild populations in ways that are self-sustaining. Here, we describe a chromosomal selfish genetic element, CleaveR [Cleave and Rescue (ClvR)], able to achieve this goal. ClvR comprises two linked ...
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Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated 9-mediated mutagenesis of the multiple edematous wings gene induces muscle weakness and flightlessness in Bactrocera dorsalis (Diptera: Tephritidae)

Zheng, WL, Q.; Sun, H.; Ali, M. W.; Zhang, H.,  Insect Molecular Biology,  28:222-234. 2019.
The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated 9 (Cas9) system is a versatile, efficient and heritable gene editing tool that can be useful for genome engineering. Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) is a major pest of agriculture that causes ...
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Efficient somatic and germline genome engineering of Bactrocera dorsalis by the CRISPR/Cas9 system

Zhao, STX, Z. Z.; Liu, Z. G.; Liu, Y. H.; Liu, X. R.; Chen, Z.; Li, J. H.; Yan, R. H.,  Pest Management Science,  75:1921-1932. 2019.
Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel), a very destructive insect pest of many fruits and vegetables, is widespread in many Asian countries. To facilitate control of this pest, it is essential to investigate its genetics and gene function using targeted gene disruption. RESULTS Here, we ...
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Gene drive for population genetic control: non-functional resistance and parental effects

Beaghton, AKH, Andrew; Nolan, Tony; Crisanti, Andrea; Burt, Austin,  Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences,  286:20191586. 2019.
Gene drive is a natural process of biased inheritance that, in principle, could be used to control pest and vector populations. As with any form of pest control, attention should be paid to the possibility of resistance evolving. For nuclease-based gene drive aimed at suppressing ...
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Gene driving the farm: who decides, who owns, and who benefits?

Montenegro de Wit, M,  Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems,  43:1054-1074. 2019.
This commentary essay explores the social and ecological implications of gene-driving agriculture.
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Targeting female reproduction in insects with biorational insecticides for pest management: a critical review with suggestions for future research

Smagghe, GZ, M.; Retnakaran, A.,  Current Opinion in Insect Science,  31:65-69. 2019.
Of the different approaches to pest control, use of juvenile hormone analogs (e.g. methoprene), molting hormone (20-hydroxyecdysone) analogs (e.g. tebufenozide) and chitin synthesis inhibitors (e.g. diflubenzuron) has dominated this field. Since they adversely interfere with the ...
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A Framework for the risk assessment and management of gene drive technology in contained use

van der Vlugt, CJBB, David D.; Lehmann, Kathleen; Leunda, Amaya; Willemarck, Nicolas,  Applied Biosafety,  23:25-31. 2018.
The utilisation of the CRISPR/Cas9 technology has sparked a renewed interest in gene drive mechanisms. These mechanisms of biased inheritance may yield promising applications in the fields of vector control and nature conservation. However, the same properties that will enable ...
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Gene drive to reduce malaria transmission in sub-Saharan Africa

Burt, AC, Mamadou; Crisanti, Andrea; Diabate, Abdoulaye; Kayondo, Jonathan K.,  Journal of Responsible Innovation,  5:S66-S80. 2018.