• Question: how would you alter the whiteflies genes?

    Asked by les science est tres cool to Beccy on 13 Jun 2017.
    • Photo: Rebecca Corkill

      Rebecca Corkill answered on 13 Jun 2017:

      Well, there are many ways. I am currently doing a PhD in collaboration with Oxitec. So one of the ways I would alter is similar to their system.

      They insert a construct into the insect; which is female-specific lethal. This means that only females are killed and the males can pass of their genes to the offspring. The construct also carries a marker (fluorescent) so that the insects can be identified in the wild. It also has an off switch. So the female-specific lethality can only be switched off when it is in an antibiotic presence (only found in the lab) so they can be raised to the sufficient numbers.

      This is one of their projects: