Gene drive technologies can potentially control disease vectors and pest species. However, before gene drive organisms are released into the environment, scientists need to ensure they are effective and safe. They need, for example, to make sure that gene drive impact is restricted to the species they aim to control, avoiding the spread of the gene to non-target species.
The paper “Double drives and private alleles for localised population genetic control” recently published in Plos Genetics explores how to limit gene drive impact to target populations. It proposes a series of low threshold double drive designs for population suppression. Each of them consists of two constructs: one imposing a reproductive load on the population, and the other inserted into a differentiated locus and controlling the drive of the first.
Are you interested in learning more? Check out the publication here!