Invasive rodents pose a significant threat to global biodiversity, contributing to countless extinctions, particularly on islands. Genetic biocontrol has considerable potential to control invasive populations but has not been developed in mice. Here, we develop a suppression gene drive strategy for mice that leverages a modified naturally occurring element with biased transmission to spread faulty copies of a haplosufficient female fertility gene (tCRISPR). In silico modeling of island populations using a range of realistic parameters predicts robust eradication. We also demonstrate proof of concept for this strategy in laboratory mice. This work marks a significant step toward the development of a gene drive for the suppression of invasive mice.
Gierus, L., Birand, A., Bunting, M. D., Godahewa, G. I., Piltz, S. G., Oh, K. P., … & Thomas, P. Q. (2022). Leveraging a natural murine meiotic drive to suppress invasive populations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 119(46), e2213308119.