The genetically modified moth effectively fights its brethren

Scientists from Cornell University (UK) conducted a study that once again proved the effectiveness of the use of "genetic saboteurs" in pest control. This is a technology from Oxitec, which aims to combat the cabbage moth. This pest is not only gluttonous, but also resistant to insecticides - but it turned out to be vulnerable to genetic traps.

Oxitec altered the genome of the cabbage moth to achieve three different effects. First, modified males are more attractive to females than "natural" males. Secondly, all female moths born from their mating are doomed to die before reaching the adult stage. Thirdly, "genetic saboteurs" have a self-destruction mechanism that leads to death after several seasons of breeding.

Field studies have confirmed that genetically modified males compete better for females with their regular rivals. They give extensive offspring, in which young females die, not having time to mate. Because of this, a shortage of females arises and a self-sustaining process of destruction of the moth population starts.

What is important - the altered genes are not reproduced, so as a result the saboteurs will die out. That is, if you do not periodically add new modified individuals, it will not work to destroy the cabbage moth in the region, but this is precisely what creates a mechanism for its regulation. At the same time, not a single gram of pesticides are used.