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Arthropod Pest Reproductive Manipulation by Wolbachia Genes

This technology is a transgenic method of controlling arthropod pest and disease vectors such as mosquito populations, by manipulating reproductive viability. Some strains of the intracellular Wolbachia bacterium found naturally in some arthropods can been used to control pest populations by altering reproductive success. The presence of this bacterium in males can lead to the death of offspring, when these males mate with uninfected females. Two of the genes in the Wolbachia bacterium which induce this loss of offspring viability have been identified. Our data reveals that these genes can be directly expressed in arthropods to have a similar effect in the absence of the bacterium. This technology can be used to transgenically target and reduce arthropod populations.


Licensing Contact

Jody Hankins

615.322.5907

Prognostic Assay for High-altitude Pulmonary Hypertension in Cattle (Brisket Disease)

This genetic test identifies cattle at high risk of developing pulmonary hypertension at high altitudes (often called "brisket disease").  Brisket disease afflicts about 5% of cattle at high altitudes and the current predictive test for at-risk cattle is a measure of pulmonary arterial pressure (PAP).  This current PAP test has some major drawbacks.  First, it is an invasive test.  Secondly, it is not accurate at lower elevations -- so at-risk cattle cannot identified before incurring the cost of transport to high altitude.  There is no treatment for the disease except prompt removal of the animal to lower elevations.  This technology measures genetic variants that confer susceptibility to brisket disease, and could be developed into a diagnostic or a prognostic test for use prior to shipping cattle to higher elevations or in breeding operations.


Licensing Contact

Jody Hankins

615.322.5907