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A drug-inducible sex-separation technique for insects

Kandul, Nikolay P. and Liu, Junru and Hsu, Alexander D. and Hay, Bruce A. and Akbari, Omar S. (2020) A drug-inducible sex-separation technique for insects. Nature Communications, 11 . Art. No. 2106. ISSN 2041-1723. PMCID PMC7193620. doi:10.1038/s41467-020-16020-2.

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Here, we describe a drug-inducible genetic system for insect sex-separation that demonstrates proof-of-principle for positive sex selection in D. melanogaster. The system exploits the toxicity of commonly used broad-spectrum antibiotics geneticin and puromycin to kill the non-rescued sex. Sex-specific rescue is achieved by inserting sex-specific introns into the coding sequences of antibiotic-resistance genes. When raised on geneticin-supplemented food, the sex-sorter line establishes 100% positive selection for female progeny, while the food supplemented with puromycin positively selects 100% male progeny. Since the described system exploits conserved sex-specific splicing mechanisms and reagents, it has the potential to be adaptable to other insect species of medical and agricultural importance.

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URLURL TypeDescription Paper CentralArticle
Kandul, Nikolay P.0000-0001-7347-5558
Liu, Junru0000-0002-6198-8150
Hsu, Alexander D.0000-0002-5760-9189
Hay, Bruce A.0000-0002-5486-0482
Akbari, Omar S.0000-0002-6853-9884
Alternate Title:A novel drug-inducible sex-separation technique for insects
Additional Information:© The Author(s) 2020. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit Received 19 December 2019; Accepted 07 April 2020; Published 30 April 2020. We thank Pavel Nagorny for drawing the chemical structures of puromycin and geneticin. This work was supported in part by NIH grants 5K22AI113060, 1R21AI123937, and UCSD startup funds awarded to O.S.A., as well as NIH OD003878 awarded to B.A.H. Data availability: All data underlying Figs. 1, 2, and 3 are represented fully within Supplementary Data 1–3. The plasmids constructed in the study (Fig. 1c) were deposited at (#131613 – #131618). The homozygous sex-sorter lines was deposited at Bloomington Drosophila Stock Center (#79015). The remaining Drosophila lines will be made available upon request. Any other relevant data are available from the authors upon reasonable request. Author Contributions: O.S.A conceived the idea, engineered plasmids, and carried out preliminary experiments. O.S.A and N.P.K designed experiments. N.P.K, A.D.H., and J.L. performed all molecular and genetic experiments. All authors analyzed the data, contributed to the writing of the manuscript, and approved the final manuscript. Competing interests: O.S.A and B.A.H filed the US patent application (#20150237838) describing this technology. O.S.A has an equity interest in Agragene, Inc. and serves on the company’s Scientific Advisory Board. All the other authors have no competing interests.
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University of California, San DiegoUNSPECIFIED
PubMed Central ID:PMC7193620
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20191216-142248918
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Official Citation:Kandul, N.P., Liu, J., Hsu, A.D. et al. A drug-inducible sex-separation technique for insects. Nat Commun 11, 2106 (2020).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:100309
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:16 Dec 2019 23:22
Last Modified:15 Feb 2022 22:53

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