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Insects 2016, 7(4), 47; doi:10.3390/insects7040047

Comparison of Model Predictions and Laboratory Observations of Transgene Frequencies in Continuously-Breeding Mosquito Populations

1
Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Perugia, Via Gambuli, Building D, 3rd floor, Perugia 06132, Italy
2
Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, The Tinbergen Building, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK
3
Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London, 14 Princes Gardens, London SW7 2NA, UK
4
Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London, Silwood Park, Ascot SL5 7PY, UK
1
University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Walter Tabachnick
Received: 23 April 2016 / Revised: 29 August 2016 / Accepted: 9 September 2016 / Published: 22 September 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1526 KB, uploaded 22 September 2016]   |  

Abstract

The persistence of transgenes in the environment is a consideration in risk assessments of transgenic organisms. Combining mathematical models that predict the frequency of transgenes and experimental demonstrations can validate the model predictions, or can detect significant biological deviations that were neither apparent nor included as model parameters. In order to assess the correlation between predictions and observations, models were constructed to estimate the frequency of a transgene causing male sexual sterility in simulated populations of a malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae that were seeded with transgenic females at various proportions. Concurrently, overlapping-generation laboratory populations similar to those being modeled were initialized with various starting transgene proportions, and the subsequent proportions of transgenic individuals in populations were determined weekly until the transgene disappeared. The specific transgene being tested contained a homing endonuclease gene expressed in testes, I-PpoI, that cleaves the ribosomal DNA and results in complete male sexual sterility with no effect on female fertility. The transgene was observed to disappear more rapidly than the model predicted in all cases. The period before ovipositions that contained no transgenic progeny ranged from as little as three weeks after cage initiation to as long as 11 weeks. View Full-Text
Keywords: GMO; transgenic mosquito; risk assessment; persistence; malaria; genetic control; sterile insect technique GMO; transgenic mosquito; risk assessment; persistence; malaria; genetic control; sterile insect technique
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MDPI and ACS Style

Valerio, L.; North, A.; Collins, C.M.; Mumford, J.D.; Facchinelli, L.; Spaccapelo, R.; Benedict, M.Q. Comparison of Model Predictions and Laboratory Observations of Transgene Frequencies in Continuously-Breeding Mosquito Populations. Insects 2016, 7, 47.

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