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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Hilo, Hawaii » Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center » Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research » Research » Research Project #435981

Research Project: Sex Selection Genes from Fruit Fly Species for Use in SITplus

Location: Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research

Project Number: 2040-22430-027-016-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: May 1, 2018
End Date: Apr 30, 2022

The primary purpose of this agreement is to support development of novel genetic sexing systems in Bactrocera fruit flies. Hort Innovation Australia is implementing a sterile insect technology (SIT) program for the Queensland fruit fly. We are tasked with describing the genetic basis for existing genetic sexing systems, particularly in the medfly, and transferring those traits using clustered regularly-interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) targeted mutagenesis to Bactrocera species. The genetic tools gained will work towards integrating a sex-lethal trait to mimic the function of temperature sensitive lethal in medfly, enhancing straightforward male-only production.

The following methods will be performed: 1) Develop a list of putative mutations in existing genetic sexing strains conferring white pupae or temperature sensitive lethal traits; 2) Utilizing synteny to model species and other tephritid pests, identify genes that can be candidate targets for inferring sex-lethality in Bactrocera fruit flies; and 3) demonstrate transfer of mutations to Bactrocera species using targeted mutagenesis.