New technologies applied to the development of mutant and/or genetic sexing strains in the South American fruit fly, Anastrepha fraterculus

IGTRCN Peer-to Peer training – Final Report Project –

Trainee: Dr. Silvia Beatriz Lanzavecchia, Researcher at the Institute of Genetics (IGEAF) from the Institute of Agricultural Technology of Argentina (INTA).

Host Lab: Dr. Alfred Handler, Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Gainesville, FL, United States.

Period of visit: from April 29th to May 12th, 2018.
The main goal of this training was to learn about new technologies for insect transformation and gene editing by mean of egg microinjection in the Caribbean fruit fly Anastrepha suspensa. These technologies will be then applied to the South American fruit fly A. fraterculus to generate genetic sexing strains (GSS) by transgenesis or gene modifications in support of the development of specific and environmentally friendly strategies against this pest. In particular, the use of GSS can increase the efficiency of the Sterile Insect Techique (SIT) with the production and release of only sterile males to control the density of wild populations of this pest species. Furthermore, the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing system for genome targeted mutagenesis will be explored in order to be used in the future to perform functional analysis of genes associated with sex determination and immunity.

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