This study reports the isolation of the promoters from the C. hominivorax slam and Lucilia sericata bnk cellularization genes and shows that these promoters can drive expression of a GFP reporter gene in early embryos of transgenic L. cuprina; and it reports the isolation of the L. sericata pro-apoptotic hid and rpr genes, identified conserved motifs in the encoded proteins, and determined the relative expression of these genes at different stages of development.
The New World screwworm fly, Cochliomyia hominivorax, and the Australian sheep blow fly, Lucilia cuprina, are major pests of livestock. The sterile insect technique was used to eradicate C. hominivorax from North and Central America. This involved area-wide releases of male and female flies that had been sterilized by radiation. Genetic systems have been developed for making ‘male-only’ strains that would improve the efficiency of genetic control of insect pests. One system involves induction of female lethality in embryos through activation of a pro-apoptotic gene by the tetracycline-dependent transactivator. Sex-specific expression was achieved using an intron from the transformer gene, which the authors previously isolated from several calliphorids. (publisher abstract modified)