Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nat Commun. 2014 Jun 10;5:3977. doi: 10.1038/ncomms4977.

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

Author information

  • 11] Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK [2] Centro di Genomica Funzionale, University of Perugia, Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimentale Via Gambuli, Edificio D, 3° Piano, 06132 Perugia, Italy.
  • 2Division of Basic Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington 98109, USA.
  • 3Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK.
  • 41] Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK [2].
  • 51] Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK [2] Centro di Genomica Funzionale, University of Perugia, Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimentale Via Gambuli, Edificio D, 3° Piano, 06132 Perugia, Italy [3].

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.

Comment in

PMID:
24915045
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC4057611
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central Icon for Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Ctr Arnold Library
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk