A Synthetic Maternal-Effect Selfish Genetic Element Drives Population Replacement in Drosophila

By February 11, 2015Daughterless, Workgroup 1

Author(s): Chun-Hong Chen, Haixia Huang, Catherine M. Ward, Jessica T. Su, Lorian V. Schaeffer, Ming Guo, Bruce A. Hay

Publication: Science

Publication Date: 2007

Abstract: One proposed strategy for controlling the transmission of insect-borne pathogens uses a drive mechanism to ensure the rapid spread of transgenes conferring disease refractoriness throughout wild populations. Here, we report the creation of maternal-effect selfish genetic elements in Drosophila that drive population replacement and are resistant to recombination-mediated dissociation of drive and disease refractoriness functions. These selfish elements use microRNAmediated silencing of a maternally expressed gene essential for embryogenesis, which is coupled with early zygotic expression of a rescuing transgene.

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