Developing CRISPR-based sex-ratio distorters for the genetic control of fruit fly pests: A how to manual

Konstantina T. Tsoumani*, Angela Meccariello, Kostas D. Mathiopoulos, Philippos Aris Papathanos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Agricultural pest control using genetic-based methods provides a species-specific and environmentally harmless way for population suppression of fruit flies. One way to improve the efficiency of such methods is through self-limiting, female-eliminating approaches that can alter an insect populations' sex ratio toward males. In this microreview, we summarize recent advances in synthetic sex ratio distorters based on X-chromosome shredding that can induce male-biased progeny. We outline the basic principles to guide the efficient design of an X-shredding system in an XY heterogametic fruit fly species of interest using CRISPR/Cas gene editing, newly developed computational tools, and insect genetic engineering. We also discuss technical aspects and challenges associated with the efficient transferability of this technology in fruit fly pest populations, toward the potential use of this new class of genetic control approaches for pest management purposes.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere21652
JournalArchives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • CRISPR/Cas9
  • Redkmer
  • X-chromosome
  • X-shredding system
  • spermatogenesis


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