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Eliminating Mosquitoes with Precision Guided Sterile Males

Li, Ming and Yang, Ting and Bui, Michelle and Gamez, Stephanie and Wise, Tyler and Kandul, Nikolay P. and Liu, Junru and Alcantara, Lenissa and Lee, Haena and Edula, Jyotheeswara R. and Raban, Robyn and Zhan, Yinpeng and Wang, Yijin and DeBeaubien, Nick and Chen, Jieyan and Sanchez C., Hector M. and Bennett, Jared B. and Antoshechkin, Igor and Montell, Craig and Marshall, John M. and Akbari, Omar S. (2021) Eliminating Mosquitoes with Precision Guided Sterile Males. . (Unpublished)

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The mosquito Aedes aegypti is the principal vector for arboviruses including dengue/yellow fever, chikungunya, and zika, infecting hundreds of millions of people annually. Unfortunately, traditional control methodologies are insufficient, so innovative control methods are needed. To complement existing measures, here we develop a molecular genetic control system termed precision guided sterile insect technique (pgSIT) in Aedes aegypti. PgSIT uses a simple CRISPR-based approach to generate sterile males that are deployable at any life stage. Supported by mathematical models, we empirically demonstrate that released pgSIT males can compete, suppress, and eliminate mosquitoes in multigenerational population cages. This platform technology could be used in the field, and adapted to many vectors, for controlling wild populations to curtail disease in a safe, confinable, and reversible manner.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Gamez, Stephanie0000-0003-0665-0066
Liu, Junru0000-0002-6198-8150
Raban, Robyn0000-0002-5648-6770
Antoshechkin, Igor0000-0002-9934-3040
Akbari, Omar S.0000-0002-6853-9884
Additional Information:The copyright holder for this preprint is the author/funder, who has granted bioRxiv a license to display the preprint in perpetuity. It is made available under a CC-BY-ND 4.0 International license. This version posted March 6, 2021. We thank Judy Ishikawa for helping with mosquito husbandry. This work was supported by funding from a DARPA Safe Genes Program Grant (HR0011-17-2-0047) and an NIH award (R01AI151004) awarded to O.S.A. and an NIH award (R56-AI153334) to C.M. The views, opinions, and/or findings expressed are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the official views or policies of the U.S. government. Author Contributions: O.S.A and M.L. conceptualized and designed experiments; T.Y., J.L., L.A., S.G., performed molecular analyses; M.L., J.R.E., T.W., H.L., M.B. performed genetic experiments; Y.Z, Y.W., N.D., J.C, C.M. performed behavioral experiments; J.B., H.M.S.C, J.M.M performed mathematical modeling; I.A. performed bioinformatics: O.S.A, M.L., N.P.K, R.R., analyzed and compiled the data. All authors contributed to writing and approved the final manuscript. Ethical conduct of research: All animals were handled in accordance with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals as recommended by the National Institutes of Health and approved by the UCSD Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC, Animal Use Protocol #S17187) and UCSD Biological Use Authorization (BUA #R2401). Disclosures: O.S.A is a founder of Agragene, Inc., has equity interest, and serves on the company’s Scientific Advisory Board. The terms of this arrangement have been reviewed and approved by the University of California, San Diego in accordance with its conflict of interest policies. All other authors declare no competing interests.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)HR0011-17-2-0047
Subject Keywords:pgSIT, Aedes aegypti, CRISPR/Cas9, dengue fever, yellow fever, zika, chikungunya, vector control, population elimination
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210308-122724699
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Eliminating Mosquitoes with Precision Guided Sterile Males. Ming Li, Ting Yang, Michelle Bui, Stephanie Gamez, Tyler Wise, Nikolay P. Kandul, Junru Liu, Lenissa Alcantara, Haena Lee, Jyotheeswara R. Edula, Robyn Raban, Yinpeng Zhan, Yijin Wang, Nick DeBeaubien, Jieyan Chen, Hector M. Sanchez C., Jared B. Bennett, Igor Antoshechkin, Craig Montell, John M. Marshall, Omar S. Akbari. bioRxiv 2021.03.05.434167; doi:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:108343
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:08 Mar 2021 20:45
Last Modified:08 Mar 2021 20:45

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