Concluding Remarks

For many years the absence of genetic transformation techniques for nondrosophilid insect species was seen as bottleneck for the full extension into these important pest species of strategies based on molecular genetics. The development of successful transposable-element-based transformation technologies enables the potential of these strategies to be tested at last. Insect geneticists have at their disposal gene vectors, universal genetic markers, promoters that can be utilized in heterologous insect species, and many target genes to test and manipulate. In addition, as outlined here, there is reason to be confident that generic techniques such as gene tagging, enhancer trapping, homologous recombination, FRT/FLP recombination, and RNAi-based gene silencing can now also be applied to insects other than D. melanogaster. Reports of sex-specific lethal genetic systems working in Drosophila have been published, and there is every expectation that similar systems will soon be established and tested in pest insects. All these technologies are precise—targeting only the genes that investigators seek to change—and the effects on a laboratory population can be predicted and are unambiguous. How successfully these technologies can be extended into pest insects, both in the laboratory and in the field, will be a matter of some interest in the years ahead.

See Also the Following Articles

Drosophila melanogaster • Sterile Insect Technique

Further Reading

Atkinson, P. W., and James, A. A. (2002). Germ-line transformants spreading out to many insect species. In "Advances in Genetics" (J. C. Hall, ed.), Vol. 47, pp. 49-86. Atkinson, P. W., Pinkerton, A. C., and O'Brochta, D. A. (2001). Genetic transformation systems in insects. Ann. Rev. Entomol. 46, 317-346. Berghammer, A. J., Klingler, M., and Wimmer, E. A. (1999). A universal marker for transgenic insects. Nature 402, 370-371. Collins, F. H., and James, A. A. (1996). Genetic modification of mosquitoes. Sci. Med. 3, 52-61. Engels, W. R. (1989). P elements in Drosophila. In "Mobile DNA" (D. Berg and M. Howe, eds.), pp. 437-484. American Society for Microbiology, Washington, DC.

Handler, A. M., and James, A. A. (2000). "Insect Transgenesis—Methods and Applications." CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. Heinrich, J. C., and Scott, M. J. (2000). A repressible female-specific lethal genetic system for making transgenic insect strains suitable for a sterile-release strain. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 97, 8229-8232. Horn, C., and Wimmer, E. A. (2000). A versatile vector set for animal transgenesis. Dev. Genes Evol. 201, 630-637. Kennerdell, J. R., and Carthew, R. W. (2000). Heritable gene silencing in

Drosophila using double-stranded RNA. Nat. Biotechnol. 18, 896-898. Montgomery, M. K., Xu, S., and Fire A. (1998). RNA as target of double-stranded RNA-mediated genetic interference in Caenorhabditis elegans. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 95, 15502-15507. Morris, A. C., Schaub, T. L., and James, A. A. (1991). FLP-mediated recombination in the vector mosquito, Aedes aegypti. Nucleic Acids Res. 19, 5895-5900.

O'Brochta, D. A., and Atkinson, P. W. (1998). Building the better bug. Sci. Am. 279, 90-95.

Roberts, D. B. (1998). "Drosophila—A Practical Approach." 2nd ed. IRL

Press at Oxford University Press, Oxford. Rong, Y. S., and Golic, K. G. (2000). Gene targeting by homologous recombination in Drosophila. Science 288, 2013-2018. Rong, Y. S., and Golic, K. G. (2001). A targeted gene knockout in Drosophila. Genetics 157, 1307-1312.

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