A drug-inducible sex-separation technique for insects.

Nature communications (2020-05-02)
Nikolay P Kandul, Junru Liu, Alexander D Hsu, Bruce A Hay, Omar S Akbari

Here, we describe a drug-inducible genetic system for insect sex-separation that demonstrates proof-of-principle for positive sex selection in D. melanogaster. The system exploits the toxicity of commonly used broad-spectrum antibiotics geneticin and puromycin to kill the non-rescued sex. Sex-specific rescue is achieved by inserting sex-specific introns into the coding sequences of antibiotic-resistance genes. When raised on geneticin-supplemented food, the sex-sorter line establishes 100% positive selection for female progeny, while the food supplemented with puromycin positively selects 100% male progeny. Since the described system exploits conserved sex-specific splicing mechanisms and reagents, it has the potential to be adaptable to other insect species of medical and agricultural importance.

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Puromycin dihydrochloride from Streptomyces alboniger, powder, BioReagent, suitable for cell culture
G 418 disulfate salt, powder, BioReagent, suitable for cell culture