Resistance to natural and synthetic gene drive systems

Tom A. R. Price, Nikolai Windbichler, Robert L. Unckless, Andreas Sutter, Jan Niklas Runge, Perran A. Ross, Andrew Pomiankowski, Nicole L. Nuckolls, Catherine Montchamp-Moreau, Nicole Mideo, Oliver Y. Martin, Andri Manser, Mathieu Legros, Amanda M. Larracuente, Luke Holman, John Godwin, Neil Gemmell, Cécile Courret, Anna Buchman, Luke G. BarrettAnna K. Lindholm

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Scientists are rapidly developing synthetic gene drive elements intended for release into natural populations. These are intended to control or eradicate disease vectors and pests, or to spread useful traits through wild populations for disease control or conservation purposes. However, a crucial problem for gene drives is the evolution of resistance against them, preventing their spread. Understanding the mechanisms by which populations might evolve resistance is essential for engineering effective gene drive systems. This review summarizes our current knowledge of drive resistance in both natural and synthetic gene drives. We explore how insights from naturally occurring and synthetic drive systems can be integrated to improve the design of gene drives, better predict the outcome of releases and understand genomic conflict in general.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1345-1360
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Issue number10
Early online date24 Sep 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020


  • CRISPR-Cas9
  • fitness costs
  • meiotic drive
  • population suppression
  • selfish genetic elements
  • sex ratio distorter
  • transposable element
  • Wolbachia

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