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Genome. 1994 Feb;37(1):72-82.

Improved stability of genetic sex-separation strains for the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata.


In the existing genetic sexing strains for the medfly, Ceratitis capitata, male recombination leads to breakdown of the sexing mechanism under mass rearing conditions. The rate of breakdown depends on the recombination frequency and on the fitness of the recombinants. We have tested two different sexing genes, white pupa and a temperature sensitive lethal, in combination with the translocation T(Y;5)30C. Both sexing strains broke down, although at very different rates. In the case of the white pupa strain, 3.5% recombinants were observed after rearing the strain for 15 generations. The second strain, utilizing white pupa and the temperature sensitive lethal as selectable markers, already reached a comparable level after six generations and was broken down completely in the ninth generation. In these strains the frequency of recombination is high because the breakpoint of T(Y;5)30C and the sexing gene(s) are far apart. To remedy the situation, we have isolated four new translocations with breakpoints located closer to the sexing genes. Mass rearing was simulated for several generations with strains based on these translocations and no breakdown was observed under the conditions used.

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