David O'Brochta

IGTRCN 2018 Technical Workshop – July 22-27

2018 IGTRCN Technical Short Course on Insect Genetic Technologies: Theory and Practice July 22 – 27, 2018 The Insect Transformation Facility Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research University of Maryland College Park Applications by April 2, 2018 (24 seats available) […]

Vertical and Horizontal Transmission in Paratransgenic Anopheles Mosquitoes

Wang et al. (2017) report results in Science that appear to make significant progress toward solving one of the more challenging problems associated with using paratransgenic approaches for sustainable insect phenotype modification. Paratransgenesis is an interesting concept involving the genetic […]

Somatic Mutagenesis as a Powerful Functional Genomics Tool in Insects

Two recent papers published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences are notable examples of using the CRISPR/Cas9 system to create somatic mutants to probe gene function.  Mazo-Varga et. al (2017) and Zhang et al. (2017). Both studies explore […]

Conditions for Successful Underdominance Gene Drive

Edgington and Alphey (2017) report their modeling efforts in the Journal of Theoretical Biology on conditions under which engineered underdominance gene drive systems could result in successful population replacement. Underdominance refers to a situation where heterozygotes are selected against within […]

High Knock in/out Rates in Aedes aegypti Expressing Cas9 from a Transgene.

  Li et al have published some interesting data on the preprint server bioRΧiv regarding the creation and use of Aedes aegypti lines expressing an SpCas9 transgene in the germline.  The report substantial improvements in gRNA-mediated mutagenesis rates. Cas9 mediated […]

Cas9 Expression Patterns Impact on Resistance Evolution in Different Genetic Backgrounds

Gene drive systems are sensitive to the evolution of resistance in the form of polymorphisms in the guide RNA’s target DNA sequence.  Champer et al. (2017) have recently reported on their exploration of how Cas9 expression patterns as well as […]

Trojan Female Technique: Mitochondria-based population suppression.

The ‘Trojan Female Technique” is a genetics-based population suppression strategy.  Wolff et al.(2017) report results of empirical tests of the idea using Drosophila melanogaster as a model system and show net population suppression. Genetics-based pest control strategies are becoming increasingly […]