Importing transgenic Drosophila strains containing select agent sequences
Updated October 25, 2013
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The importation and interstate transportation of DNA clones or transgenic flies containing sequences from “select agents” are strictly regulated. Select agents are specific biological agents and toxins that have the potential to pose a severe threat to public, animal or plant health and have been chosen for special regulation (see the National Select Agent Registry). The importation of transgenic flies carrying sequences from select agents requires approval from multiple federal agencies in addition to the USDA and should be attempted only with the approval and help of biosafety and legal officials at your institution.

To our knowledge, the only routinely used Drosophila constructs incorporating such sequences are transgenic ricin A constructs used in cell ablation studies. These particular constructs are exempt from select agent regulation, because ricin A chain does not act as a toxin in the absence of the B chain, but the interpretation of select agent regulations and exemptions can be quite complicated, so we strongly recommend that you consult with Biotechnology Regulatory Services for guidance in importing any strain with sequences derived from a select agent.