projects > development of trojan y technology to control invasive fishes in the greater everglades
Development of Trojan Y technology to control invasive fishes in the Greater Everglades
Within Florida, dozens of foreign non-native fishes have established self-sustaining populations. There is concern that these introduced species could negatively affect native communities by predation, competition, or by serving as vectors for disease. Once a non-native fish has become established, there are almost no methods available to eradicate it or control its population size. New technologies must be developed to control non-native species, and help stop their spread. In this project, we are investigating the applicability of a theoretical model of invasive species control using Trojan Y sex chromosomes.
The Trojan Y technique of population control for invasive species was originally described by Gutierrez and Teem (2006) and consists of adding sex-reversed females containing two Y chromosomes (YY females) to a wild population to skew the sex ratio of subsequent generations to contain an increasing number of males (i.e., fewer and fewer females in each generation). The gradual reduction in females may lead to eventual extinction of the population. The potential of this technique for eradicating or controlling non-native species has been much-discussed and promoted (e.g., Cotton and Wedekind 2007; Teem et al. 2013; Thresher et al. 2013). However, until this project, no one has attempted to move beyond theory into practical application. The development of this technique requires several years of experimentation and exploration. Our project is the first in the world to attempt to adapt Trojan Y technology to a living model.
Trojan Y is favored over other techniques (e.g., genetic engineering) for the following reasons:
To date, this theoretical construct has never been demonstrated with a population of organisms.
Cotton, S. and C. Wedekind. 2007. Control of introduced species using Trojan sex chromosomes. TRENDS in Ecology and Evolution 22: 441-443.
Gutierrez, J. B. and J. L. Teem. 2006. A model describing the effect of sex-reversed YY fish in an established wild population: The use of a Trojan Y chromosome to cause extinction of an introduced exotic species. Journal of Theoretical Biology 241: 333-341.
Teem, J. L., J. B. Gutierrez and R. D. Parshad. 2013. A comparison of the Trojan Y chromosome and daughterless carp eradication strategies. Biological Invasions 10.1007/s10530-013-0475-2.
Thresher, R. E., K. Hayes, N. J. Bax, J. Teem, T. J. Benfey, F. Gould. 2013. Genetic control of invasive fish: technological options and its role in integrated pest management. Biological Invasions 10.1007/s10530-013-0477-0.