A drug-inducible sex-separation technique for insects.
- Author(s): Kandul, Nikolay P
- Liu, Junru
- Hsu, Alexander D
- Hay, Bruce A
- Akbari, Omar S
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-16020-2
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.