Genetically modified moths can be used to limit the number of pests

According tomedia reports, the cauliflower is not only curly cabbage, broccoli and rapeseed oil and other rape crops harmful, but also has a strong resistance to pesticides. However, the genetically engineered version of the moth may improve this situation. The “self-limiting” variety, developed by British biotech company Oxitec, has recently been the subject of a study by scientists at Cornell University.

Genetically modified moths can be used to limit the number of pests


In an experiment to control the number of moths, the researchers first released male self-limiting moths into the field. There, they mate with ordinary female mules to pass on their modified genes. When these females lay their eggs, none of the female larvae live to adulthood. In several such releases, the overall number of small grasshoppers decreased significantly as fewer and fewer female mules mated with ordinary male mules.

But the change is not permanent. Once the modified males stop releasing, they disappear from the environment within several generations.

The Cornell University study is believed to be the first to release self-contained agricultural insects into the wild, and the results are promising.

Lead scientist Professor Anthony Shelton said: “Self-restricted male insects are similar to non-GMO insects in terms of factors related to future crop protection applications, such as survival and travel distance. In laboratory studies, they did just as well in competing for female mates. Our mathematical model shows that the release of self-limiting strains can control the number of pests without the use of additional pesticides. “

The study was published in Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology.