Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research
Project Number: 6036-22000-030-04-S
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Aug 1, 2012
End Date: Jul 31, 2016
To isolate new antioxidant gene sequences from tephritid species and to evaluate them by functional genomic analysis for eventual use in transgenic strains for improved biological control.
New antioxidant gene sequences, including those for superoxide dismutase I, superoxide dismutase II, and catalase, will be isolated by degenerate polymerase chain reaction (PCR) protocols in Anastrepha suspensa and Ceratitis capitata, based on homologous sequences in dipteran species. Complete genomic sequences placed under conditional regulation will inserted into recombinase-based vectors and individually transformed into the tephritid species by recombination into genomic target sites. With assistance from the Cooperator, lines homozygous for the transgenes will be created and adult males will be assayed for antioxidant gene expression and enzymatic activity. Untreated males and males sterilized by gamma-irradiation will be tested for life fitness and reproductive competitiveness parameters. Specifically, antioxidant genes will be isolated from the Caribbean and Mediterranean fruit fly genomes and their expression and enzymatic activity tested after genetic transformation in host species. Fitness and reproductive competitiveness parameters will be evaluated in adult transgenic males to assess whether ectopic expression of these genes have a beneficial effect on viability and mating behavior in males sterilized for the sterile insect technique.