PMID: 11142282Jan 6, 2001

Pest control by the introduction of a conditional lethal trait on multiple loci: potential, limitations, and optimal strategies

Journal of Economic Entomology
Paul Schliekelman, Fred Gould


Advances in genetics have made it feasible to genetically engineer insect strains carrying a conditional lethal trait on multiple loci. We model the release into a target pest population of insects carrying a dominant and fully penetrant conditional lethal trait on 1-20 loci. Delaying the lethality for several generations after release allows the trait to become widely spread in the target population before being activated. To determine effectiveness and optimal strategies for such releases, we vary release size, number of generations until the conditional lethality, nonconditional fitness cost resulting from gene insertions, and fitness reduction associated with laboratory rearing. We show that conditional lethal releases are potentially orders of magnitude more effective than sterile male releases of equal size, and that far smaller release sizes may be required for this approach than necessary with sterile males. For example, a release of male insects carrying a conditional lethal allele that is activated in the F4 generation on 10 loci reduces the target populatioin to 10(-4) of no-release size if there are initially two released males for every wild male. We show how the effectiveness of conditional lethal releases decreas...Continue Reading


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Dec 8, 2005·Annual Review of Entomology·Peter A Follett, Lisa G Neven
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Pest Control, Biological
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