Figure 1. Comparison of conventional SIT and RIDL-SIT (using a female-specific repressible lethal system) in a mass rearing facility.

Figure 1

Comparison of conventional SIT and RIDL-SIT (using a female-specific repressible lethal system) in a mass rearing facility. In a conventional SIT program males are isolated from a stock colony, where possible—this is technically challenging in all but a few species—otherwise males and females have to be released together. The males are then sterilised by ionising radiation, which tends to reduce their competitiveness. In RIDL-SIT a stock colony is maintained using a repressor of female-specific lethality, females are eliminated by simply not providing this repressor during the rearing of the release generation. These RIDL males are not irradiated and therefore do not suffer the negative effects associated with irradiation. The female-specific lethal gene also acts as an automatic containment mechanism. This acts at two levels: (i) no viable female progeny are produced, so the escapees would not increase the pest population (unlike nonirradiated escapees from a conventional SIT program), (ii) as all RIDL females die, the RIDL construct itself will be rapidly lost from the population.

From: Insect Population Suppression Using Engineered Insects

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