Genetic engineering of sex chromosomes for batch cultivation of non-transgenic, sex-sorted males

Siba R. Das, Maciej Maselko, Ambuj Upadhyay, Michael J. Smanski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The field performance of Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) is improved by sex-sorting and releasing only sterile males. This can be accomplished by resource-intensive separation of males from females by morphology. Alternatively, sex-ratio biasing genetic constructs can be used to selectively remove one sex without the need for manual or automated sorting, but the resulting genetically engineered (GE) control agents would be subject to additional governmental regulation. Here we describe and demonstrate a genetic method for the batch production of non-GE males. This method could be applied to generate the heterogametic sex (XY, or WZ) in any organism with chromosomal sex determination. We observed up to 100% sex-selection with batch cultures of more than 103 individuals. Using a stringent transgene detection assay, we demonstrate the potential of mass production of transgene free males.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1009180
JournalPLoS genetics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: MJS is supported in part by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (grant number D17AP00028). The views, opinions, and/ or findings contained in this article are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the official views or policies, either expressed or implied, of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or the Department of Defense. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript The authors would like to thank Dr. Max Scott for his generous donation of pB[FL3] and pUB-EGFP plasmids.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright: © 2020 Das et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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