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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research » Research » Research Project #426045

Research Project: Development of Germ-Line Transformation of the Asian Citrus Psyllid for Population Control

Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research

Project Number: 6036-22000-030-06-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Dec 9, 2013
End Date: Feb 29, 2016

Objective:
The goal of this research is develop methodologies for germ-line transformation of the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), Diaphorina citri, which is a plant disease vector for the bacterium, Candidatus Liberibacter. Genetically-transformed strains will be used to replace or suppress populations of ACP in order to control citrus greening disease.

Approach:
Methodology for transposon-mediated germ-line transformation of Diaphorina citri will be developed and transgenic strains of the plant disease vector will be created for either population replacement or suppression. Transposon vectors to be tested will include the piggyBac and Minos transposable elements marked with polyubiquitin-regulated fluorescent proteins. Protocols will initially include embryonic microinjection of vector and helper plasmids, that will be extended to maternal abdominal injection, electroporation and biolistics delivery. Efficient transformation protocols will then be used to create vector-incompetent transgenic ACP having a synthetic “Medea-like” element that will replace vector-competent strains in the field. Transgenic strains will also be created having a conditional tetracycline-suppressible embryonic lethality system that will result in inviable progeny after field release.