Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Genetic methods of insect control: history and current state.

Abstract

The review considers the main stages in the development of the genetic method of insect control: (1) the idea of A.S. Serebrovsky, who suggested releasing males with nonviable translocations into nature; (2) "Z-lethal" method of V.A. Strunnikov for control of harmful Lepidoptera, which consists in the release of males carrying two nonallelic recessive mutations in the sex Z chromosomes into nature; (3) sterile insect technique (SIT) used widely in practice in the second half of the 20th century; (4) genetically engineered biotechnology RIDL (Release of Insects carrying a Dominant Lethal) used in practice to control the invasive mosquito Aedes aegypti, which is the vector of Zika viruses and yellow fever. It is generalized that the main opponent of the genetic method of insect control is natural selection, which supports females, choosing natural rather than sterile or "genetically modified" males for mating. It follows from the above that genetic methods of control can be effective only in control of invasive species that have not spread widely yet.