Natural transgenic butterflies

Natural transgenic butterflies

An international team of scientists have found genes in the butterflies wasp, a finding that, in addition to demonstrating that the nature creates its own transgenic animals, is a target for pest control.

The study, published in PLoS Genetics, is an investigation of the University of Valencia and the Institute for Research on the Biologie de l’Insecte (IRBI-CNRS).

The study is an analysis of how insects behave against pathogens.

Then we saw a number of genes that seemed like a butterfly and started to study their justification, “said Efe Professor of Genetics and co-author, Salvador Herrero.

Foreign genes came from a type of wasp (family of braconids) whose reproductive cycle is to parasitize the larvae of butterfly and moth, where inject some viral particles that block the defenses of the larva.

Natural transgenic butterflies 1

“In the process, at some point, the parasites larvae failed and guests purchased one of those genes and incorporated and were domesticated over the past hundreds of years, relatively recently, evolutionarily speaking, of course.”

Over time, these genes have butterflies “some protection against some pathogens,” an important finding, especially “when you consider that some species of parasitoid wasps are used efficiently in agriculture for the control of insect pests harmful “.

Biological pest control

In fact, the original research intended to analyze the interactions between insect pests and bacterial and viral pathogens to improve the use of these organisms for biological control of agricultural pests.

Work, and shows that the process of transgenesis occurs naturally insects reveals that your immune system, but simpler than human, “is constantly evolving and new functions can be achieved with the acquisition of new genes from other insects, “argues Salvador Herrero.

Furthermore, these studies of the University of Valencia and IRBI-CNRS provide new targets for natural pathogens “more effective pest control and to reduce the use of chemical insecticides in agriculture,” he adds.

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