Keywords: population suppression

A natural gene drive could steer invasive rodents on islands to extinction

B. Brookshire,  ScienceNews,  2022.
In the battle against the invasive house mouse on islands, scientists are using the rodent’s own genes against it. With the right tweaks, introducing a few hundred genetically altered mice could drive an island’s invasive mouse population to extinction in about 25 years, ...
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Should NZ use contentious gene tech in our war on pests?

J. Morton,  NZ Herald,  2022.
Gene-altering technology could offer “breakthrough opportunities” for saving our pest-threatened species, a new future-scoping report says, but there’d be some tricky issues to address before it’d be a realistic option. Scientists have already been exploring how these ...
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The effect of mating complexity on gene drive dynamics

P. Verma, R. G. Reeves, S. Simon, M. Otto and C. S. Gokhale,  The American Naturalist,  2022.
Gene drive technology promises to deliver on some of the global challenges humanity faces today in health care, agriculture, and conservation. However, there is a limited understanding of the consequences of releasing self-perpetuating transgenic organisms into wild populations ...
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Independent evaluation of Wolbachia infected male mosquito releases for control of Aedes aegypti in Harris County, Texas, using a Bayesian abundance estimator

S. Lozano, K. Pritts, D. Duguma, C. Fredregill and R. Connelly,  PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases,  16:e0010907. 2022.
Among disease vectors, Aedes aegypti (L.) (Diptera: Culicidae) is one of the most insidious species in the world. The disease burden created by this species has dramatically increased in the past 50 years, and during this time countries have relied on pesticides for control and ...
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Independent evaluation of Wolbachia infected male mosquito releases for control of Aedes aegypti in Harris County, Texas, using a Bayesian abundance estimator

S. Lozano, K. Pritts, D. Duguma, C. Fredregill and R. Connelly,  PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases,  16:e0010907. 2022.
Author summary Aedes aegypti is one of the most important mosquito species because females can potentially carry pathogens that cause disease. These diseases have a tremendous impact worldwide making this species an important target of control. We evaluated a mosquito control ...
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Gene drive could be used to wipe out invasive mice on islands

M. Le Page,  NewScientist,  2022.
For the first time, researchers have created a gene drive – a kind of genetic parasite – that could be used to eradicate mammalian pests such as mice by making them infertile. The technology could provide a humane alternative to the poison baits currently used to tackle ...
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World first trial to eradicate mice through gene modification

I. Mannix,  COSMOS,  2022.
Mouse populations could be eradicated in some areas through new gene modification technology to render female mice infertile. The technology – called t-CRISPR – was previously developed to target malaria-transmitting mosquitoes. This is the first proof of concept for its use ...
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Gene drive technology to suppress invasive mice

University of Adelaide,  Phys Org,  2022.
Researchers at the University of Adelaide have released their first findings on the potential effectiveness of revolutionary gene drive technology to control invasive mice. The team has developed a world-first proof of concept for the technology—called t-CRISPR—using ...
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Leveraging a natural murine meiotic drive to suppress invasive populations

L. Gierus, A. Birand, M. D. Bunting, G. I. Godahewa, S. G. Piltz, K. P. Oh, A. J. Piaggio, D. W. Threadgill, J. Godwin, O. Edwards, P. Cassey, J. V. Ross, T. A. A. Prowse and P. Q. Thomas,  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,  119:e2213308119. 2022.
Invasive rodents are a major cause of environmental damage and biodiversity loss, particularly on islands. Unlike insects, genetic biocontrol strategies including population-suppressing gene drives with biased inheritance have not been developed in mice. Here, we demonstrate a ...
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Why we need to talk about ‘gene-drive’ grey squirrels

L. Clarke,  DevonLive,  2022.
Would the best way of controlling the UK’s rampant grey squirrel population be to spread genetic changes throughout the species? A new research film, to be shown next month at Exeter Phoenix, sees scientists, conservation and wildlife experts debate the use of emergent ...
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Wolbachia Biology, Mechanisms and Applications 2022

David O'Brochta,  GeneConvene Global Collaborative,  2022.
Intracellular and extracellular symbiotic/commensal bacteria have enormous potential when manipulated and deployed appropriately to serve as agents of control of insects and the pathogens they transmit. Wolbachia, an intracellular bacteria, is a well studied system and one that ...
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Anopheles homing suppression drive candidates exhibit unexpected performance differences in simulations with spatial structure

S. E. Champer, I. K. Kim, A. G. Clark, P. W. Messer and J. Champer,  eLife,  11:e79121. 2022.
Recent experiments have produced several Anopheles gambiae homing gene drives that disrupt female fertility genes, thereby eventually inducing population collapse. Such drives may be highly effective tools to combat malaria. One such homing drive, based on the zpg promoter ...
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Wolbachia strain wAlbB remains stable in Aedes aegypti over 15 years but exhibits genetic background-dependent variation in virus blocking

X. Liang, C. H. Tan, Q. Sun, M. Zhang, P. J. Wong, M. I. Li, et al.,  PNAS Nexus,  2022.
The ability of the maternally transmitted endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia to induce cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) and virus blocking makes it a promising weapon for combatting mosquito-borne diseases through either suppression or replacement of wild-type populations. Recent ...
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Applications of gene drive systems for population suppression of insect pests

M. Asad, D. Liu, J. Chen and G. Yang,  Bulletin of Entomological Research,  2022.
Population suppression is an effective way for controlling insect pests and disease vectors, which cause significant damage to crop and spread contagious diseases to plants, animals and humans. Gene drive systems provide innovative opportunities for the insect pests population ...
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A confinable female-lethal population suppression system in the malaria vector, Anopheles gambiae

A. L. Smidler, J. J. Pai, R. A. Apte, H. M. Sánchez C, R. M. Corder, E. J. Gutiérrez, N. Thakre, I. Antoshechkin, J. M. Marshall and O. S. Akbari,  bioRxiv,  2022.08.30.505861. 2022.
Malaria is among the world’s deadliest diseases, predominantly affecting sub-Saharan Africa, and killing over half a million people annually. Controlling the principal vector, the mosquito Anopheles gambiae, as well as other anophelines, is among the most effective methods to ...
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World Mosquito Day: Can genetic modification techniques quash the menace?

CNBCTV18,  CNBC TV18,  2022.
Genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes are prepared in labs and are supposed to fight the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes which spread viruses including dengue, Zika, and chikungunya. Billions have apparently been successfully released in the US, Brazil, the Cayman Islands, Panama, and ...
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Precision Guided Sterile Males Suppress Populations of an Invasive Crop Pest

N. P. Kandul, J. Liu, A. Buchman, I. C. Shriner, R. M. Corder, N. Warsinger-Pepe, T. Yang, A. K. Yadav, M. J. Scott, J. M. Marshall and O. S. Akbari,  GEN Biotechnology,  1:372-385. 2022.
The Drosophila suzukii invasion of western countries has created an immense agricultural and economic threat to crop production. Despite many attempts to suppress its population, D. suzukii continues to destroy soft-flesh fruits. Precision guided sterile insect technique (pgSIT) ...
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A theory of resistance to multiplexed gene drive demonstrates the significant role of weakly deleterious natural genetic variation

B. S. Khatri and A. Burt,  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,  119:e2200567119. 2022.
CRISPR-based gene drives have the potential for controlling natural populations of disease vectors, such as malaria-carrying mosquitoes in sub-Saharan Africa. If successful, they hold promise of significantly reducing the burden of disease and death from malaria and many other ...
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What do we mean by “Target Organism” in Target Malaria’s gene drive research?

J. B. Connolly,  Target Malaria,  2022.
In the wild and in laboratory settings, sibling mosquito species can successfully mate to produce viable offspring, regardless of whether they are vectors or not. Importantly, females, but not males, of these offspring can be fertile. Nonetheless, the likelihood of finding such ...
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Lack of robust evidence for a Wolbachia infection in Anopheles gambiae from Burkina Faso

S. P. Sawadogo, D. A. Kabore, E. B. Tibiri, A. Hughes, O. Gnankine, S. Quek, A. Diabaté, H. Ranson, G. L. Hughes and R. K. Dabiré,  Medical and Veterinary Entomology,  2022.
The endosymbiont Wolbachia can have major effects on the reproductive fitness, and vectorial capacity of host insects and may provide new avenues to control mosquito-borne pathogens. Anopheles gambiae s.l is the major vector of malaria in Africa but the use of Wolbachia in this ...
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Gene drives and Africa’s battle against malaria

Annonymous,  Africa Verified,  2022.
As malaria cases rise, and the effectiveness of current methods begins to fall, the WHO’s target of reducing the global malaria burden by 90% by 2030 will not be met. It is critical for new and resilient treatment, prevention, and control methods to be developed and integrated ...
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Slow and steady wins the race: spatial and stochastic processes and the failure of suppression gene drives

J. F. Paril and B. L. Phillips,  Molecular Ecology,  2022.
Gene drives that skew sex ratios offer a new management tool to suppress or eradicate pest populations. Early models and empirical work suggest that these suppression drives can completely eradicate well-mixed populations, but models that incorporate stochasticity and space ...
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Gene drive designs for efficient and localisable population suppression using Y-linked editors

R. Geci, K. Willis and A. Burt,  bioRxiv,  2022.06.29.498122. 2022.
The sterile insect technique (SIT) has been successful in controlling some pest species but is not practicable for many others due to the large numbers of individuals that need to be reared and released. Previous computer modelling has demonstrated that the release of males ...
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Public perspectives towards using gene drive for invasive species management in Australia

A. Mankad, E. V. Hobman and L. Carter,  CSIRO,  2022.
Many pest animal species live and reproduce in high numbers across Australia. This includes animal species, such as cane toads, feral cats, foxes, rodents, wild pigs, wild rabbits. These species significantly damage Australia’s agricultural industries, natural landscapes, and ...
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Natural and Engineered Sex Ratio Distortion in Insects

A. Compton and Z. Tu,  Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution,  10. 2022.
Insects have evolved highly diverse genetic sex-determination mechanisms and a relatively balanced male to female sex ratio is generally expected. However, selection may shift the optimal sex ratio while meiotic drive and endosymbiont manipulation can result in sex ratio ...
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Wolbachia interacts with the microbiome to shape fitness-associated traits during seasonal adaptation in Drosophila melanogaster

L. P. Henry, M. Fernandez, S. Wolf and J. Ayroles,  bioRxiv,  2022.05.31.494239. 2022.
The microbiome contributes to many different host traits, but its role in host adaptation remains enigmatic. The fitness benefits of the microbiome often depend on ecological conditions, but fluctuations in both the microbiome and environment modulate these fitness benefits. ...
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Recommendations for environmental risk assessment of gene drive applications for malaria vector control

J. B. Connolly, J. D. Mumford, D. C. M. Glandorf, S. Hartley, O. T. Lewis, S. W. Evans, G. Turner, C. Beech, N. Sykes, M. B. Coulibaly, J. Romeis, J. L. Teem, W. Tonui, B. Lovett, A. Mankad, A. Mnzava, S. Fuchs, T. D. Hackett, W. G. Landis, J. M. Marshall,  Malar J,  21:152. 2022.
Building on an exercise that identified potential harms from simulated investigational releases of a population suppression gene drive for malaria vector control, a series of online workshops identified nine recommendations to advance future environmental risk assessment of gene ...
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Wolbachia 16S rRNA haplotypes detected in wild Anopheles stephensi in eastern Ethiopia

E. Waymire, S. Duddu, S. Yared, D. Getachew, D. Dengela, S. R. Bordenstein, M. Balkew, S. Zohdy, S. R. Irish and T. E. Carter,  Parasites and Vectors,  15:178. 2022.
About two out of three Ethiopians are at risk of malaria, a disease caused by the parasites Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. Anopheles stephensi, an invasive vector typically found in South Asia and the Middle East, was recently found to be distributed across eastern ...
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Strategies to Mitigate Establishment under the Wolbachia Incompatible Insect Technique

S. Soh, S. H. Ho, J. Ong, A. Seah, B. S. Dickens, K. W. Tan, J. R. Koo, A. R. Cook, S. Sim, C. H. Tan, L. C. Ng and J. T. Lim,  Viruses,  14. 2022.
The Incompatible Insect Technique (IIT) strategy involves the release of male mosquitoes infected with the bacterium Wolbachia. Regular releases of male Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes can lead to the suppression of mosquito populations, thereby reducing the risk of transmission of ...
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The effect of mating complexity on gene drive dynamics

P. Verma, R. G. Reeves, S. Simon, M. Otto and C. S. Gokhale,  bioRxiv,  2021.09.16.460618. 2022.
Gene drive technology promises to deliver on some of the global challenges humanity faces today in healthcare, agriculture and conservation. However, there is a limited understanding of the consequences of releasing self-perpetuating transgenic organisms into the wild populations ...
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Adversarial interspecies relationships facilitate population suppression by gene drive in spatially explicit models

Y. Liu, W. Teo, H. Yang and J. Champer,  bioRxiv,  2022.05.08.491087. 2022.
Suppression gene drives are designed to bias their inheritance and increase in frequency in a population, disrupting an essential gene in the process. When the frequency is high enough, the population will be unable to reproduce above the replacement level and could be ...
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Gene drive escape from resistance depends on mechanism and ecology

F. Cook, J. J. Bull and R. Gomulkiewicz,  Evolutionary Applications,  2022.
Abstract 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 antidrive resistance will evolve ...
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The sterile insect technique is protected from evolution of mate discrimination

J. J. Bull and R. Gomulkiewicz,  PeerJ,  10:e13301. 2022.
Background The sterile insect technique (SIT) has been used to suppress and even extinguish pest insect populations. The method involves releasing artificially reared insects (usually males) that, when mating with wild individuals, sterilize the broods. If administered on a large ...
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Propagation of seminal toxins through binary expression gene drives could suppress populations

J. Hurtado, S. Revale and L. M. Matzkin,  Scientific Reports,  12:6332. 2022.
Gene drives can be highly effective in controlling a target population by disrupting a female fertility gene. To spread across a population, these drives require that disrupted alleles be largely recessive so as not to impose too high of a fitness penalty. We argue that this ...
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A homing suppression gene drive with multiplexed gRNAs maintains high drive conversion efficiency and avoids functional resistance alleles

E. Yang, M. Metzloff, A. M. Langmuller, X. J. Xu, A. G. Clark, P. W. Messer and J. Champer,  G3-Genes Genomes Genetics,  13. 2022.
Gene drives are engineered alleles that can bias inheritance in their favor, allowing them to spread throughout a population. They could potentially be used to modify or suppress pest populations, such as mosquitoes that spread diseases. CRISPR/Cas9 homing drives, which copy ...
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Cas9-mediated maternal-effect and derived resistance alleles in a gene-drive strain of the African malaria vector mosquito, Anopheles gambiae

R. Carballar-Lejarazú, T. Tushar, T. B. Pham and A. A. James,  Genetics,  2022.
CRISPR/Cas9 technologies are important tools for the development of gene-drive systems to modify mosquito vector populations to control the transmission of pathogens that cause diseases such as malaria. However, one of the challenges for current Cas9-based drive systems is their ...
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Finding the strongest gene drive: Simulations reveal unexpected performance differences between Anopheles homing suppression drive candidates

S. E. Champer, I. K. Kim, A. G. Clark, P. W. Messer and J. Champer,  bioRxiv,  2022.03.28.486009. 2022.
Recent experiments have produced several Anopheles gambiae homing gene drives that disrupt female fertility genes, thereby eventually inducing population collapse. Such drives may be highly effective tools to combat malaria. One such homing drive, based on the zpg promoter ...
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A homing suppression gene drive with multiplexed gRNAs maintains high drive conversion efficiency and avoids functional resistance alleles

E. Yang, M. Metzloff, A. M. Langmüller, X. Xu, A. G. Clark, P. W. Messer and J. Champer,  bioRxiv,  2021.05.27.446071. 2022.
Gene drives are engineered alleles that can bias inheritance in their favor, allowing them to spread throughout a population. They could potentially be used to modify or suppress pest populations, such as mosquitoes that spread diseases. CRISPR/Cas9 homing drives, which copy ...
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Symbionts and gene drive: two strategies to combat vector-borne disease

G.-H. Wang, J. Du, C. Y. Chu, M. Madhav, G. L. Hughes and J. Champer,  Trends in Genetics,  2022.
Mosquitoes bring global health problems by transmitting parasites and viruses such as malaria and dengue. Unfortunately, current insecticide-based control strategies are only moderately effective because of high cost and resistance. Thus, scalable, sustainable, and cost-effective ...
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Rescue by gene swamping as a gene drive deployment strategy

K. D. Harris and G. Greenbaum,  bioRxiv,  2022.03.08.483503. 2022.
Gene drives are genetic constructs that can spread deleterious alleles with potential application to population suppression of harmful species. Given that a gene drive can potentially spill over to other populations or even other species, control measures and fail-safes ...
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Gene drives and population persistence vs elimination: The impact of spatial structure and inbreeding at low density

P. J. Beaghton and A. Burt,  Theoretical Population Biology,  2022.
Synthetic gene drive constructs are being developed to control disease vectors, invasive species, and other pest species. In a well-mixed random mating population a sufficiently strong gene drive is expected to eliminate a target population, but it is not clear whether the same ...
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An Ethical Overview of the CRISPR-Based Elimination of Anopheles gambiae to Combat Malaria

I. J. Wise and P. Borry,  Journal of Bioethical Inquiry,  2022.
Approximately a quarter of a billion people around the world suffer from malaria each year. Most cases are located in sub-Saharan Africa where Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes are the principal vectors of this public health problem. With the use of CRISPR-based gene drives, the ...
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A Closing Window of Opportunity for Gene Drive Governance in the United States

K. L. Warmbrod, M. Montague and G. K. Gronvall,  Health Security,  20:3-5. 2022.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought forth a number of biotechnological advances to enhance the public's health: new diagnostic tests, mRNA vaccines, and new antiviral medications. Biotechnology is also being used to address global challenges like climate change, food insecurity, ...
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Uniqueness and stability of periodic solutions for an interactive wild and Wolbachia-infected male mosquito model

R. Yan and Q. Sun,  Journal of Biological Dynamics,  2022.
We investigate a mosquito population suppression model, which includes the release of Wolbachia-infected males causing incomplete cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI). The model consists of two sub-equations by considering the density-dependent birth rate of wild mosquitoes. By ...
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Monitoring Needs for Gene Drive Mosquito Projects: Lessons From Vector Control Field Trials and Invasive Species

G. Rašić, N. F. Lobo, E. H. Jeffrey Gutiérrez, C. H. Sánchez and J. M. Marshall,  Frontiers in Genetics,  12:780327. 2022.
As gene drive mosquito projects advance from contained laboratory testing to semi-field testing and small-scale field trials, there is a need to assess monitoring requirements to: i) assist with the effective introduction of the gene drive system at field sites, and ii) detect ...
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Lab-scale characterization and semi-field trials of Wolbachia Strain wAlbB in a Taiwan Wolbachia introgressed Ae. aegypti strain

W. L. Liu, H. Y. Yu, Y. X. Chen, B. Y. Chen, S. N. Leaw, C. H. Lin, M. P. Su, L. S. Tsai, Y. Chen, S. H. Shiao, Z. Y. Xi, A. C. C. Jang and C. H. Chen,  PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases,  16:24. 2022.
Author summaryPrior to open field release, new genetic approaches that interfere with mosquito abilities and reduce mosquito population density require progressive evaluation both in the laboratory and contained field trials. Trials in contained outdoor systems are thus an ...
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Demographic feedbacks can hamper the spatial spread of a gene drive

F. Debarre and L. Girardin,  bioRxiv,  2021.12.01.470771. 2021.
This paper is concerned with a reactiond diffusion system modeling the fixation and the invasion in a population of a gene drive (an allele biasing inheritance, increasing its own transmission to offspring). In our model, the gene drive has a negative effect on the fitness of ...
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Gene drive that results in addiction to a temperature-sensitive version of an essential gene triggers population collapse in Drosophila

G. Oberhofer, T. Ivy and B. A. Hay,  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,  118:e2107413118. 2021.
One strategy for population suppression seeks to use gene drive to spread genes that confer conditional lethality or sterility, providing a way of combining population modification with suppression. Stimuli of potential interest could be introduced by humans, such as an otherwise ...
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Propagation of seminal toxins through binary expression gene drives can suppress polyandrous populations

J. Hurtado, S. Revale and L. M. Matzkin,  bioRxiv,  2021.11.23.469777. 2021.
Gene drives can be highly effective in controlling a target population by disrupting a female fertility gene. To spread across a population, these drives require that disrupted alleles be largely recessive so as not to impose too high of a fitness penalty. We argue that this ...
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High-resolution in situ analysis of Cas9 germline transcript distributions in gene-drive Anopheles mosquitoes

G. Terradas, A. Hermann, A. A. James, W. McGinnis and E. Bier,  G3-Genes Genomes Genetics,  2021.
Gene drives are programmable genetic elements that can spread beneficial traits into wild populations to aid in vector-borne pathogen control. Two different drives have been developed for population modification of mosquito vectors. The Reckh drive (vasa-Cas9) in Anopheles ...
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Two years of laboratory studies on the non gene drive genetically modified sterile male mosquitoes concluded successfully in Mali

M. Coulibaly,  Target Malaria,  2021.
The Target Malaria Mali team at the Malaria Research and Training Centre (MRTC) based at the University of Sciences, Techniques and Technologies of Bamako (USTTB) is proud to have been the first Malian research team to work on non gene drive genetically modified sterile male ...
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Malaria modeling and optimal control using sterile insect technique and insecticide-treated net

L. Cai, L. Bao, L. Rose, J. Summers and W. Ding,  Applicable Analysis,  2021.