Many of today’s insect genetic technologies are delivered to the germ-line of target species by direct injection of developing embryos. This is actually a major limitation to the adoption of these powerful technologies in some insect research communities– one simply cannot inject the embryos for any number of reasons making it impossible to deliver technologies that depend upon germ-line integration of various genetic platforms.
Injections are performed with glass needles manufactured in the laboratory and these seemingly mundane tools can make the difference between success and failure.
Beaudette et al. attempt to find needle shapes that are effective in a couple of lepidopteran species. They not only do this but also demonstrate the effectiveness of their efforts by producing transgenic Junonia coenia, the common buckeye butterfly, using a piggyBac-based vector system.
Survival of injected embryos was about 30% and the transformation rate was 3%.
Kahlia Beaudette, Tia M. Hughes, and Jeffrey M. Marcus, Improved injection needles facilitate germline transformation of the buckeye butterfly Junonia coenia, BioTechniques, Vol. 56, No. 3, March 2014, pp. 142–144