Engineering high-threshold gene drives for Anopheles mosquitoes

Project: Research project (funded)Research

Project Details


We aim to develop engineered high-threshold mosquito gene drives for control of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes to laboratory proof-of-concept. Gene drives potentially provide powerful, species-specific control methods for either suppression or modification of mosquito populations. ‘Local’ drives - gene drives whose effect is substantially confined to the release area - would provide the ability for first adopters to use such methods without impacting their neighbours and would also provide focal control tools for ‘last mile’ scenarios.
We will focus on CRISPR/Cas9-based “homing” drives in Anopheles stephensi, using a split-drive (“daisy drive”) configuration to limit spatial spread and thereby make the drives “local”. This design is based on parallel work developing “global” or species-wide homing drives, preliminary work by the PI to develop similar systems in Aedes aegypti, and has the additional advantage of being predictably limited in temporal persistence as well as spatial spread.
While this project does not include field release, system components will be designed with that in mind - the PI has a unique track record in taking GM insect technology through to field use.
Effective start/end date1/09/1931/08/24