Genetically modified insects may replace pesticides

The WA Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) and Oxford University spin out organization Oxitec are all set to experiment the adequacy of a genetically modified medfly.

They trust this new breed can offer food producers some assistance with combating a pest which damages up to 15 percent of fruit crops. It is estimated that between $10-14 million is spend on checking these pests every year.

The new method includes scientists’ embeddings two genes into the medfly, a self-constraining gene which keeps female posterity from surviving until conceptive age and a fluorescent track-and-follow marker (DsRed2).

“This is another way to deal with the Sterile Insect Technique in which radiation disinfection of flies is supplanted with a genetic strategy,” DAFWA’s David Windsor says.  “It’s a look into the eventual fate of 21st century pest control.”

The Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) has been utilized universally since the 1950s and is viewed as the most naturally cordial type of destruction.

It includes researchers disinfecting male medflies through radiation and discharging them in expansive numbers to go after mating opportunities.

As females who couple with sterile males have no reasonable posterity, insect populaces diminish. The new hereditary methodology works similarly yet will require small amount of insects, making it more financially savvy yet environmental generous.

“Our system just influences the target species, and in light of the fact that it is self-restricting, the genes and bugs vanish from nature once we quit discharging,” Oxitec’sDr Neil Morrison says.

“The medflies are non-harmful, non-allergenic and bug spray free, and our studies have shown that if a predator were to eat our insects, it’s regardless as eating different bugs—there are no antagonistic impacts.”

The task is one of a number Oxitec has under way, including rearing the mosquito Aedesaegypti, the principle vector for dengue fever.

Field trials of A. aegypti saw a diminishment in insect populaces of 93 percent in Panama and 96 percent in the Cayman Islands.