Technology Topics

This is a community blog to capture ongoing developments in and applications of insect genetic technologies.
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Daphnia pulex

Water Fleas and Insects – Common Challenges for Genetic Modification – Shared Solutions?

The water flea, Daphnia pulex, is a microcrustacean that has become a model for biomedical research and, perhaps more significantly, a model for probing G x E (Genetics x Environment) interactions. Some genetic modification methods have been developed for Daphnia […]

Apis mellifera

Transgenic Honeybees – Finally!

Genome modification technologies have been increasing steadily in recent years. With the exception of direct genome editing technologies (ZFNs, TALENs and CRISPRs) variously technologies for use in insects rely heavily on transposon platforms to move these technologies into target genomes. […]

Anopheles gambiae

Controlling Malaria Mosquitoes With Genetics

A chemical-free eradication method for the human malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, that is self-sustaining and requires no additional inputs beyond ‘pushing the button’ to get it started, sounds fantastic. For geneticists it has not been terribly difficult to think of […]

Densovirus Delivery of DNA to Anopheles gambiae

While the genetic technologies available for using in Anopheles mosquitoes and Anopheles gambiae in particular continue to expand, most rely on integrating transgenes into germ-lines to create genetically modified lines of mosquitoes. Of course, there is direct injection of dsRNA […]

Platynereis dumerilii adult

Genetically Modified Annelids: Platynerieis dumerilii. Not Unlike Modifying Insects

The bristle worm, Platynerieis dumerilii, is a marine annelid with a biology that makes it of interest because of the development of its nervous system, reproductive cycles that are synchronized with lunar phases and its neuroendocrinology among other things. Even […]

I-CreI Crystal Structure

Delivering Reprogramed Meganucleases With Lentiviruses- Is this Applicable to “Difficult” Insects?

Delivering biologically relevant nucleic acids and proteins to appropriate cells of multicellular organisms for the purposes of genetically modifying either somatic or germline genomes is a central problem for not only insect biologists but for those working on other organisms […]

Sheep Blow Fly, Lucilia cuprina

Insect Genetic Technologies To Control Blow Flies

Blow flies (family Calliphoridae) can be serious and dangerous pests. The new world screwworm fly (Cochliomyia hominivorax) as the latin name says can be a man-eater (hominivorax). While many blow flies prefer to lay eggs on dead and decaying animals, […]

Six Tandem Cherries -> Very Bright Insects

Insect genetic modification technologies rely heavily on the use of fluorescent proteins as genetic markers, expression reporters etc. Colors vary, as do fluorescent outputs. Shearin et al. (2014) describe their efforts to increase signals from two popular fluorescent proteins, EGFP […]

WHO Logo

WHO’s Guidance on Testing Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

The World Health Organization (WHO)  has published a guidance document that provides a framework by which genetically modified mosquitoes might be developed and tested as tools for controlling mosquito populations and/or pathogen transmission. This guidance comes at a time when […]

Feeding Pea Aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum

RNA Silencing in Plants to Fight Aphids

Aphids feed from the plant phloem sap and are responsible for large damage on crops by either weakening the plant or transmitting plant viruses that circulate in the sap. Can we use transgenic plants to limit aphid negative impact on […]

XOR Circuit: You get output only when there is input from A or B but not both or neither.

CRISPy Circuits

Sophisticated tools for genome modification allow investigators to devise ever-increasing complex genetic circuits. The Gal4 /UAS system is one example of a simple binary system. While powerful, this system does not allow for particularly complex genetic circuits to be assembled. […]