Question

A proposed biological method for insect control involves the release of insects that could interfere with the fertility of the normal resident insects. One approach is to introduce sterile males to compete with the resident fertile males for matings. A disadvantage of this strategy is that the irradiated sterile males are not very robust and can have problems competing with the fertile males. An alternate approach that is being tried is to release laboratory-reared insects that are homozygous for several translocations. Explain how this strategy will work. Be sure to mention which insects will be sterile.

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Homozygotic males with multiple translocations would be best used for such a strategy. Since they are homozygotic without any global genetic disbalances they are as viable as WT males and can compete for females. The reason for multiple translocations is to mitigate the possibility of the progeny to successfully mate with WT individuals as multiple translocations limit the number of possible viable gametes that they produce, whilst also limiting the progeny to even be healthy. The only possibility for the progeny to be viable is if multiple crossing-overs occur and negate the translocations.

Using females for this wouldn't be viable as their progeny would not be able to compete with WT progeny of normal males and females, which would be alive in the beginning of the process. This kind of manipulation with multiple introduction of mutated males into the population can significantly lower population of insects in a very short time frame.

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