World’s first genetically modified moths released into nature

The diamond moth is certainly one of the many insect species that are harmful to agricultural products. The Plutella xylostella is a danger for plants such as cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and canola. This creature, which is also very resistant to pesticides, causes great damage. Especially in China, this insect seriously undermines the cultivation of cabbages, one of the country’s most important crops.

Oxitech is a biotechnology company that has developed self-limiting genetically modified diamond moths to deal with the problems posed by these moths. Dr. Neil Morrison from Oxitech said that self-limiting moths are not harmful and allergenic.

Genetically modified male moths are released into the environment and mate with female moths. On this occasion, self-restricting genes pass to the offspring, which reduces the chances of female caterpillars to survive.

In an article published in Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, it is stated that Oxitech moths are spread to the open field for the first time in the world and this method is both efficient and sustainable in terms of providing harmful insect regulation.


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