innovations in Genetic Engineering / Molecular Biology | Innoget

Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew University posted this:

The Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) to control insect pests is based on their mass-production in dedicated facilities, separation and sterilization of males and their periodic release, in order to compete with wild-type males, and essentially impose female sterility. Their are several problems associated with this procedure: (1) Females tend to soon overcome imposed monogamy, and remate again with males available at that time. Based on research funded by the ISF and the Chief Scientists Fund of the Ministry of Agriculture, we have devised a novel transgenic procedure to prevent or reduce subsequent re-mating of the females in the field, and suppress egg development, which is normally induced by mating. Such transgenic males produce a modified "Sex Peptide", as a component of their seminal fluid, which imposes long-term non-receptivity on females subsequent to initial mating. (2) The second problem is that the current practice of irradiation-imposed sterilization of males is debilitating and reduces their field performance. It is also logistically time-consuming and costly. This situation requires the release of a large overabundance of males (in the case of the Medfly, twice-weekly throughout the year). We propose that irradiation be replaced by genetic sterility and have several suggestion of how this might be approached. The genetic sterility we propose would be incorporated with the persistent modified Sex Peptide, and combined, these two male-specific transgenes would significantly augment the SIT. Project ID : 8-2006-1709