A synthetic sex ratio distortion system for the control of the human malaria mosquito - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Nature Communications Year : 2014

A synthetic sex ratio distortion system for the control of the human malaria mosquito

Abstract

It has been theorized that inducing extreme reproductive sex ratios could be a method to suppress or eliminate pest populations. Limited knowledge about the genetic makeup and mode of action of naturally occurring sex distorters and the prevalence of co-evolving suppressors has hampered their use for control. Here we generate a synthetic sex distortion system by exploiting the specificity of the homing endonuclease I-PpoI, which is able to selectively cleave ribosomal gene sequences of the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae that are located exclusively on the mosquito's X chromosome. We combine structure-based protein engineering and molecular genetics to restrict the activity of the potentially toxic endonuclease to spermatogenesis. Shredding of the paternal X chromosome prevents it from being transmitted to the next generation, resulting in fully fertile mosquito strains that produce >95% male offspring. We demonstrate that distorter male mosquitoes can efficiently suppress caged wild-type mosquito populations, providing the foundation for a new class of genetic vector control strategies.
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Dates and versions

hal-02634336 , version 1 (27-05-2020)

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Roberto Galizi, Lindsey A. Doyle, Miriam Menichelli, Federica Bernardini, Anne Deredec, et al.. A synthetic sex ratio distortion system for the control of the human malaria mosquito. Nature Communications, 2014, 5 (3977), ⟨10.1038/ncomms4977⟩. ⟨hal-02634336⟩
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