Closing the gap to effective gene drive in Aedes aegypti by exploiting germline regulatory elements

Michelle Anderson, Estela Gonzalez Fernandez, Joshua Ang Xin De, Lewis Shackleford, Katherine Nevard, Sebald Verkuijl, Matthew Paul Edgington, Tim Harvey-Samuel, Luke Stephen Alphey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


CRISPR/Cas9-based homing gene drives have emerged as a potential new approach to mosquito control. While attempts have been made to develop such systems in Aedes aegypti, none have been able to match the high drive efficiency observed in Anopheles species. We generated Ae. aegypti transgenic lines expressing Cas9 using novel germline-specific regulatory elements and assessed their ability to bias inheritance of an sgRNA-expressing element (kmosgRNAs). Four shu-Cas9 and one sds3-Cas9 isolines significantly biased the inheritance of kmosgRNAs, with sds3G1-Cas9 causing the highest average inheritance of ~86% and ~94% from males and females carrying both elements outcrossed to wild-type, respectively. Our mathematical model demonstrates that sds3G1-Cas9 could enable the spread of the kmosgRNAs element to either reach a higher (by ~15 percentage point) maximum carrier frequency or to achieve similar maximum carrier frequency faster (by 12 generations) when compared to two other established split drive systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2023

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