A genetically altered self-killing fruit fly could provide the answer to a global pest-control issue, according to new research, potentially saving over 300 crop types.
Published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, researchers analysed the effect of injecting male mutant flies with a lethal gene that could then be passed onto females. Once passed on, the gene would interrupt female development – with the potential to collapse entire insect populations.
The research has been trialled in a greenhouse, and has proven effective. The uniqueness of the project also guards against environmental damage, as well as being cheap, according to researchers.
The Mediterranean fruit fly is a global pest, effecting over 300 crops including wild fruit, vegetables and nuts. The costs are extensive in trying to contain the insects, as pesticides and sterilisation are not sustainable deterrents – as the fly can adapt fairly quickly to both methods.
The male genetically modified (GM) flies that have already been developed at Oxfordshire-based biotechnology company Oxitec, are only capable of producing more males –leading to a one sex population, which is not sustainable.
Philip Leftwich, from the University of East Anglia and Oxitec, speaking to the BBC, explained how the researchers used an antibiotic that can silence the female gene called tetracycline, This allows you to reach thousands or millions of male insects all carrying this gene construct […] Very rapidly you get a sex biased population of only male individuals, which is not sustainable.
“In a local area where you perform this process, the population levels quickly shrink, massively reducing the amount of crop damage.”
The next step for the company is government approved testing on proposed sites. The group has already conducted extensive tests with GM mosquitoes in Brazil as a potential preventative method in combating the spread of dengue fever.
Photo source: midnightrook via Flickr
Take our 2014 reader survey and you could win an iPad, Kindle or donation to a charity of your choice.
Like our Facebook Page
How to Find an Eco-Friendly Termite Control Service Provider in Malaysia
Eco-Friendly Vegans Win Most Battles Not the War
3 Iconic Chicago Billboards Eco-Friendly Advertisers Can Learn from
EnviroSolar’s Abe Issa Discusses Success in Green Entrepreneurship
How Sports Could Be Impacted by Climate Change
What Eco-Friendly Patients Should Know about Online Therapy
6 Reasons Why Meal Delivery Services are Eco-Friendly
The Path for Retail’s Sustainable Future
4 Eco-Friendly Ways to Treat a Sinus Infection
4 Strategies for Eco-Friendly Real Estate Investors to Find Properties
How Managed Print Services Helps to Reduce Paper Waste
Why Scientists Are Concerned About ‘Forever Chemicals’ In Drinking Water
Meat Farming Is Only Getting Smarter, Easier & Eco-Friendlier
What is Eco-Friendly Homesteading and How Does it Affect Your Insurance?
Importance of Using a Water Purifier in an Area with High Pollution
Alternative Financing Ideas for Green Businesses that Shun Banks
Tencel Material Demand Shows Britain Is More Eco-Friendlier Than Ireland
How To Invest in Clean Energy Stocks in Only Five Easy Steps!
How To Secure Funding As An Eco-Entrepreneur?
4 Amazing Eco-Friendly Businesses Worth Starting in 2021
- Features8 months ago
Seven Health and Safety Tips for Eco-Friendly Products in a Green Home
- Energy9 months ago
Eco-Friendly Homeowners Lower Carbon Footprints through Greater Air Conditioner Efficiency
- Features8 months ago
Essential Guidelines for Eco-friendly Moving into new Home
- Invest10 months ago
The Eco-Friendly Evolution of Bitcoin Over the Years