Genetically engineered insects with sex-selection and genetic incompatibility enable population suppression

  1. Ambuj Upadhyay
  2. Nathan R Feltman
  3. Adam Sychla
  4. Anna Janzen
  5. Siba R Das
  6. Maciej Maselko
  7. Michael Smanski  Is a corresponding author
  1. University of Minnesota, United States
  2. Macquarie University, Australia

Abstract

Engineered Genetic Incompatibility (EGI) is a method to create species-like barriers to sexual reproduction. It has applications in pest control that mimic Sterile Insect Technique when only EGI males are released. This can be facilitated by introducing conditional female-lethality to EGI strains to generate a sex-sorting incompatible male system (SSIMS). Here, we demonstrate a proof of concept by combining tetracycline-controlled female lethality constructs with a pyramus-targeting EGI line in the model insect Drosophila melanogaster. We show that both functions (incompatibility and sex-sorting) are robustly maintained in the SSIMS line and that this approach is effective for population suppression in cage experiments. Further we show that SSIMS males remain competitive with wild-type males for reproduction with wild-type females, including at the level of sperm competition.

Data availability

All data is available in the manuscript

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Ambuj Upadhyay

    Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, United States
    Competing interests
    Ambuj Upadhyay, Inventor of filed patents (PCT/US2019/059826).
  2. Nathan R Feltman

    Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, United States
    Competing interests
    Nathan R Feltman, Inventor of filed patents.(PCT/US2019/059826).
  3. Adam Sychla

    Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  4. Anna Janzen

    Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  5. Siba R Das

    Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, United States
    Competing interests
    Siba R Das, Inventor on filed IP, co-founder of Novoclade. (PCT/US2019/059826).
  6. Maciej Maselko

    Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
    Competing interests
    Maciej Maselko, Inventor of filed IP; co-founder of Novoclade. (PCT/US2019/059826).
  7. Michael Smanski

    Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, United States
    For correspondence
    smanski@umn.edu
    Competing interests
    Michael Smanski, Inventor on filed patents and co-founder of Novoclade. (PCT/US2019/059826).
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-6029-8326

Funding

Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center, University of Minnesota

  • Michael Smanski

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

  • Michael Smanski

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Ethics

Animal experimentation: Work with invertebrates (e.g. D. melanogaster) is exempt from the University of Minnesota's IACUC research oversight, however all work was approved by UMN's Institutional Biosafety Committee.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Philipp W Messer, Cornell University, United States

Publication history

  1. Preprint posted: June 11, 2021 (view preprint)
  2. Received: June 12, 2021
  3. Accepted: January 31, 2022
  4. Accepted Manuscript published: February 2, 2022 (version 1)
  5. Version of Record published: February 21, 2022 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2022, Upadhyay et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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  1. Ambuj Upadhyay
  2. Nathan R Feltman
  3. Adam Sychla
  4. Anna Janzen
  5. Siba R Das
  6. Maciej Maselko
  7. Michael Smanski
(2022)
Genetically engineered insects with sex-selection and genetic incompatibility enable population suppression
eLife 11:e71230.
https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.71230

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