Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences

Honorary Senior Lecturer







Mrs Lucy Collyns +44 (0)20 7594 5395




Sir Alexander Fleming BuildingSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Hammond, A and Karlsson, X and Morianou, I and Kyrou, K and Beaghton, A and Gribble, M and Kranjc, N and Galizi, R and Burt, A and Crisanti, A and Nolan, T},
doi = {10.1101/360339},
publisher = {Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory},
title = {Regulation of gene drive expression increases invasive potential and mitigates resistance},
url = {},
year = {2018}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - <jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>CRISPR-Cas9 nuclease-based gene drives rely on inducing chromosomal breaks in the germline that are repaired in ways that lead to a biased inheritance of the drive. Gene drives designed to impair female fertility can suppress populations of the mosquito vector of malaria. However, strong unintended fitness costs, due to ectopic nuclease expression, and high levels of resistant mutations, limited the potential of the first generation of gene drives to spread.</jats:p><jats:p>Here we show that changes to regulatory sequences in the drive element, designed to contain nuclease expression to the germline, confer improved fecundity over previous versions and generate drastically lower rates of target site resistance. We employed a genetic screen to show that this effect is explained by reduced rates of end-joining repair of DNA breaks at the target site caused by deposited nuclease in the embryo.</jats:p><jats:p>Highlighting the impact of deposited Cas9, many of the mutations arising from this source of nuclease activity in the embryo are heritable, thereby having the potential to generate resistant target sites that reduce the penetrance of the gene drive.</jats:p><jats:p>Finally, in cage invasion experiments these gene drives show improved invasion dynamics compared to first generation drives, resulting in greater than 90% suppression of the reproductive output and a delay in the emergence of target site resistance, even at a resistance-prone target sequence. We shed light on the dynamics of generation and selection of resistant alleles in a population by tracking, longitudinally, the frequency of resistant alleles in the face of an invading gene drive. Our results illustrate important considerations for future gene drive design and should expedite the development of gene drives robust to resistance.</jats:p>
AU - Hammond,A
AU - Karlsson,X
AU - Morianou,I
AU - Kyrou,K
AU - Beaghton,A
AU - Gribble,M
AU - Kranjc,N
AU - Galizi,R
AU - Burt,A
AU - Crisanti,A
AU - Nolan,T
DO - 10.1101/360339
PB - Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
PY - 2018///
TI - Regulation of gene drive expression increases invasive potential and mitigates resistance
UR -
ER -