Genetically modified insect

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A genetically modified insect is an insect that has been genetically modified for various reasons such as agricultural production,[1] oil production[2] and pest control.[3]

In biological research, transgenic fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) are model organisms used to study the effects of genetic changes on development.[4] Fruit flies are often preferred over other animals due to their short life cycle, low maintenance requirements, and relatively simple genome compared to many vertebrates.


The first release of modified mosquitoes were performed in the 1970s. It was mosquitoes of the species that transmit the dengue virus that where sterilised by irradiation (sterile insect technique).[5]

The British company Oxitec use a technique called RIDL[6] that produce fertile adults but induce a high mortality of the descendants. The adults generated with this technique and released in the environment are not sterile but their descendants have a survival rate of only about 5% (or much higher in presence of tetracycline).[5]

Species modified[edit]

For confined scientific research[edit]

For commercial uses[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ New Report Finds Genetically Modified Insects May Offer Public Health And Agricultural Benefits, But Clear Regulatory Oversight Is Lacking
  2. ^ Chris Ayres, "Scientists find bugs that eat waste and excrete petrol",, 14 June 2008 (page visited on 21 September 2013).
  3. ^ Genetically modified insects prevent disease
  4. ^ First Transgenic Mice and Fruit Flies
  5. ^ a b (French) Luigi D'Andrea, "Des insectes transgéniques contre la dengue. Sous quel contrôle et avec quels dangers ?", Stop OGM infos, no. 52, 2013.
  6. ^ For "release of insects carrying a dominant lethal".

See also[edit]

External links[edit]