Chinese scientists have decoded the genome sequence of the migratory locust, suggesting new ways of combating the destructive pest.
Asian Scientist (Jan. 22, 2014) – Chinese scientists have decoded the genome sequence of the migratory locust (Locusta migratoria), suggesting new ways of combating the destructive pest, according to a report by the state-run Xinhua news agency”
At 6.5 gigabases, it is the largest animal genome sequenced so far, according to Dr Kang Le of the Institute of Zoology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences who headed the research.
The findings, published in Nature Communications, indicate that the large genome size is likely to be due to transposable element proliferation combined with slow rates of loss for these elements.
The scientists found significant expansion of gene families associated with energy consumption and detoxification, consistent with the locust’s long-distance flight capacity and plant-eating behavior (phytophagy).
The scientists also assessed changes in gene families related to long-distance migration, feeding and other biological processes unique to the locust and identified genes that might serve as potential pesticide targets. Through this analysis, they identified hundreds of potential insecticide target genes.
Source: Xinhua; Photo: Dakiny/Flickr/CC.
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