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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Mosquito and Fly Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #327558

Research Project: Biting Arthropod Surveillance and Control

Location: Mosquito and Fly Research

Title: Applications of genome editing in insects

item Reid, William
item O'brochta, David - University Of Maryland

Submitted to: International Journal of Biological Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/17/2015
Publication Date: 2/1/2016
Citation: Reid, W.R., O'Brochta, D.A. 2016. Applications of genome editing in insects. International Journal of Biological Sciences. 13:43-54.

Interpretive Summary: With the advent of novel approaches to genome editing in multiple organisms, there is a need for a comprehensive resource to compile and examine the 'best practices' for the use of genome editing in insects. In our paper, we examine and highlight the optimal means of genome editing in insects.

Technical Abstract: Insect genome editing was first reported 1991 in Drosophila melanogaster but the technology used was not portable to other species. Not until the recent development of facile, engineered DNA endonuclease systems has gene editing become widely available to insect scientists. Most applications in insects to date have been technical in nature but this is rapidly changing. Functional genomics and genetics-based insect control efforts will be major beneficiaries of the application of contemporary gene editing technologies. Engineered endonucleases like Cas9 make it possible to create powerful and effective gene drive systems that could be used to reduce or even eradicate specific insect populations. ‘Best practices’ for using Cas9-based editing are beginning to emerge making it easier and more effective to design and use but gene editing technologies still require traditional means of delivery in order to introduce them into somatic and germ cells of insects — microinjection of developing embryos. This constrains the use of these technologies by insect scientists. Insects created using editing technologies challenge existing governmental regulatory structures designed to manage genetically modified organisms.