skip to main content

Title: Evaluation of Additional Drosophila suzukii Male-Only Strains Generated Through Remobilization of an FL19 Transgene
Drosophila suzukii (D. suzukii) (Matsumura, 1931; Diptera: Drosophilidae), also known as spotted wing Drosophila , is a worldwide pest of fruits with soft skins such as blueberries and cherries. Originally from Asia, D. suzukii is now present in the Americas and Europe and has become a significant economic pest. Growers largely rely on insecticides for the control of D. suzukii . Genetic strategies offer a species-specific environmentally friendly way for suppression of D. suzukii populations. We previously developed a transgenic strain of D. suzukii that produced only males on a diet that did not contain tetracycline. The strain carried a single copy of the FL19 construct on chromosome 3. Repeated releases of an excess of FL19 males led to suppression of D. suzukii populations in laboratory cage trials. Females died as a consequence of overexpression of the tetracycline transactivator (tTA) and tTA-activated expression of the head involution defective proapoptotic gene. The aim of this study was to generate additional male-only strains that carried two copies of the FL19 transgene through crossing the original line with a piggyBac jumpstarter strain. Males that carried either two chromosome 3 or a singleX-linked transgene were identified through stronger expression of the red fluorescent protein marker gene. The brighter fluorescence of the X-linked lines was likely due to dosage compensation of the red fluorescent protein gene. In total, four X-linked lines and eleven lines with two copies on chromosome 3 were obtained, of which five were further examined. All but one of the strains produced only males on a diet without tetracycline. When crossed with wild type virgin females, all of the five two copy autosomal strains examined produced only males. However, the single copy X-linked lines did not show dominant female lethality. Five of the autosomal lines were further evaluated for productivity (egg to adult) and male competition. Based on these results, the most promising lines have been selected for future population suppression experiments with strains from different geographical locations.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Palli, Subba Reddy (Ed.)
    The transformer ( tra ) gene is essential for female development in many insect species, including the Australian sheep blow fly, Lucilia cuprina . Sex-specific tra RNA splicing is controlled by Sex lethal ( Sxl ) in Drosophila melanogaster but is auto-regulated in L . cuprina . Sxl also represses X chromosome dosage compensation in female D . melanogaster . We have developed conditional Lctra RNAi knockdown strains using the tet-off system. Four strains did not produce females on diet without tetracycline and could potentially be used for genetic control of L . cuprina . In one strain, which showed both maternal and zygotic tTA expression, most XX transformed males died at the pupal stage. RNAseq and qRT-PCR analyses of mid-stage pupae showed increased expression of X-linked genes in XX individuals. These results suggest that Lctra promotes somatic sexual differentiation and inhibits X chromosome dosage compensation in female L . cuprina . However, XX flies homozygous for a loss-of-function Lctra knockin mutation were fully transformed and showed high pupal eclosion. Two of five X-linked genes examined showed a significant increase in mRNA levels in XX males. The stronger phenotype in the RNAi knockdown strain could indicate that maternal Lctra expression may be essential for initiation of dosage compensation suppression in female embryos. 
    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    Spotted wing drosophila,Drosophila suzukii, is an invasive pest that primarily attacks fresh, soft‐skinned fruit. Although others have reported successful integration of markedpiggyBacelements into theD. suzukiigenome, with a very respectable transgenesis rate of ∼16%, here we take this work a step further by creatingD. suzukiijumpstarter strains. These were generated through integration of a fluorescent‐markedMinoselement carrying aheat shock protein 70‐drivenpiggyBac transposasegene. We demonstrate that there is a dramatic increase in transformation rates when germline transformation is performed in atransposase‐expressing background. For example, we achieved transformation rates as high as 80% when microinjectingpiggyBac‐based plasmids into embryos derived from one of theseD. suzukiijumpstarter strains. We also investigate the effect of insert size on transformation efficiency by testing the ability of the most efficient jumpstarter strain to catalyze integration of differently‐sizedpiggyBacelements. Finally, we demonstrate the ability of a jumpstarter strain to remobilize an already‐integratedpiggyBacelement to a new location, demonstrating that our jumpstarter strains could be used in conjunction with apiggyBac‐based donor strain for genome‐wide mutagenesis ofD. suzukii.

    more » « less
  3. null (Ed.)
    Microbes (bacteria, yeasts, molds), in addition to plants and animals, were domesticated for their roles in food preservation, nutrition and flavor. Aspergillus oryzae is a domesticated filamentous fungal species traditionally used during fermentation of Asian foods and beverage, such as sake, soy sauce, and miso. To date, little is known about the extent of genome and phenotypic variation of A. oryzae isolates from different clades. Here, we used long-read Oxford Nanopore and short-read Illumina sequencing to produce a highly accurate and contiguous genome assemble of A. oryzae 14160, an industrial strain from China. To understand the relationship of this isolate, we performed phylogenetic analysis with 90 A. oryzae isolates and 1 isolate of the A. oryzae progenitor, Aspergillus flavus . This analysis showed that A. oryzae 14160 is a member of clade A, in comparison to the RIB 40 type strain, which is a member of clade F. To explore genome variation between isolates from distinct A. oryzae clades, we compared the A. oryzae 14160 genome with the complete RIB 40 genome. Our results provide evidence of independent evolution of the alpha-amylase gene duplication, which is one of the major adaptive mutations resulting from domestication. Synteny analysis revealed that both genomes have three copies of the alpha-amylase gene, but only one copy on chromosome 2 was conserved. While the RIB 40 genome had additional copies of the alpha-amylase gene on chromosomes III, and V, 14160 had a second copy on chromosome II and an third copy on chromosome VI. Additionally, we identified hundreds of lineage specific genes, and putative high impact mutations in genes involved in secondary metabolism, including several of the core biosynthetic genes. Finally, to examine the functional effects of genome variation between strains, we measured amylase activity, proteolytic activity, and growth rate on several different substrates. RIB 40 produced significantly higher levels of amylase compared to 14160 when grown on rice and starch. Accordingly, RIB 40 grew faster on rice, while 14160 grew faster on soy. Taken together, our analyses reveal substantial genome and phenotypic variation within A. oryzae . 
    more » « less
  4. Genes that originate during evolution are an important source of novel biological functions. Retrogenes are functional copies of genes produced by retroduplication and as such are located in different genomic positions. To investigate retroposition patterns and retrogene expression, we computationally identified interchromosomal retroduplication events in nine portions of the phylogenetic history of malaria mosquitoes, making use of species that do or do not have classical sex chromosomes to test the roles of sex-linkage. We found 40 interchromosomal events and a significant excess of retroduplications from the X chromosome to autosomes among a set of young retrogenes. These young retroposition events occurred within the last 100 million years in lineages where all species possessed differentiated sex chromosomes. An analysis of available microarray and RNA-seq expression data for Anopheles gambiae showed that many of the young retrogenes evolved male-biased expression in the reproductive organs. Young autosomal retrogenes with increased meiotic or postmeiotic expression in the testes tend to be male biased. In contrast, older retrogenes, i.e., in lineages with undifferentiated sex chromosomes, do not show this particular chromosomal bias and are enriched for female-biased expression in reproductive organs. Our reverse-transcription PCR data indicates that most of the youngest retrogenes, which originated within the last 47.6 million years in the subgenus Cellia, evolved non-uniform expression patterns across body parts in the males and females of An. coluzzii. Finally, gene annotation revealed that mitochondrial function is a prominent feature of the young autosomal retrogenes. We conclude that mRNA-mediated gene duplication has produced a set of genes that contribute to mosquito reproductive functions and that different biases are revealed after the sex chromosomes evolve. Overall, these results suggest potential roles for the evolution of meiotic sex chromosome inactivation in males and of sexually antagonistic conflict related to mitochondrial energy function as the main selective pressures for X-to-autosome gene reduplication and testis-biased expression in these mosquito lineages. 
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    Incompatibilities on the sex chromosomes are important in the evolution of hybrid male sterility, but the evolutionary forces underlying this phenomenon are unclear. House mice (Mus musculus) lineages have provided powerful models for understanding the genetic basis of hybrid male sterility. X chromosome–autosome interactions cause strong incompatibilities in M. musculus F1 hybrids, but variation in sterility phenotypes suggests a more complex genetic basis. In addition, XY chromosome conflict has resulted in rapid expansions of ampliconic genes with dosage-dependent expression that is essential to spermatogenesis. Here, we evaluated the contribution of XY lineage mismatch to male fertility and stage-specific gene expression in hybrid mice. We performed backcrosses between two house mouse subspecies to generate reciprocal Y-introgression strains and used these strains to test the effects of XY mismatch in hybrids. Our transcriptome analyses of sorted spermatid cells revealed widespread overexpression of the X chromosome in sterile F1 hybrids independent of Y chromosome subspecies origin. Thus, postmeiotic overexpression of the X chromosome in sterile F1 mouse hybrids is likely a downstream consequence of disrupted meiotic X-inactivation rather than XY gene copy number imbalance. Y chromosome introgression did result in subfertility phenotypes and disrupted expression of several autosomal genes in mice with an otherwise nonhybrid genomic background, suggesting that Y-linked incompatibilities contribute to reproductive barriers, but likely not as a direct consequence of XY conflict. Collectively, these findings suggest that rapid sex chromosome gene family evolution driven by genomic conflict has not resulted in strong male reproductive barriers between these subspecies of house mice.

    more » « less