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Data from: Resistance to genetic insect control: modelling the effects of space


Watkinson-Powell, Benjamin; Alphey, Nina (2016), Data from: Resistance to genetic insect control: modelling the effects of space, Dryad, Dataset,


Genetic insect control, such as self-limiting RIDL2 (Release of Insects Carrying a Dominant Lethal) technology, is a development of the sterile insect technique which is proposed to suppress wild populations of a number of major agricultural and public health insect pests. This is achieved by mass rearing and releasing male insects that are homozygous for a repressible dominant lethal genetic construct, which causes death in progeny when inherited. The released genetically engineered ('GE') insects compete for mates with wild individuals, resulting in population suppression. A previous study modelled the evolution of a hypothetical resistance to the lethal construct using a frequency-dependent population genetic and population dynamic approach. This found that proliferation of resistance is possible but can be diluted by the introgression of susceptible alleles from the released homozygous-susceptible GE males. We develop this approach within a spatial context by modelling the spread of a lethal construct and resistance trait, and the effect on population control, in a two deme metapopulation, with GE release in one deme. Results show that spatial effects can drive an increased or decreased evolution of resistance in both the target and non-target demes, depending on the effectiveness and associated costs of the resistant trait, and on the rate of dispersal. A recurrent theme is the potential for the non-target deme to act as a source of resistant or susceptible alleles for the target deme through dispersal. This can in turn have a major impact on the effectiveness of insect population control.

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