Development and use of a piggyBac-based jumpstarter system in Drosophila suzukii.
Spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii, is an invasive pest that primarily attacks fresh, soft-skinned fruit. Although others have reported successful integration of marked piggyBac elements into the D. suzukii genome, with a very respectable transgenesis rate of ∼16%, here we take this work a step further by creating D. suzukii jumpstarter strains. These were generated through integration of a fluorescent-marked Minos element carrying a heat shock protein 70-driven piggyBac transposase gene. We demonstrate that there is a dramatic increase in transformation rates when germline transformation is performed in a transposase-expressing background. For example, we achieved transformation rates as high as 80% when microinjecting piggyBac-based plasmids into embryos derived from one of these D. suzukii jumpstarter strains. We also investigate the effect of insert size on transformation efficiency by testing the ability of the most efficient jumpstarter strain to catalyze integration of differently-sized piggyBac elements. Finally, we demonstrate the ability of a jumpstarter strain to remobilize an already-integrated piggyBac element to a new location, demonstrating that our jumpstarter strains could be used in conjunction with a piggyBac-based donor strain for genome-wide mutagenesis of D. suzukii.