GM Yeast Found to Effectively Control Tsetse FliesJune 24, 2020
Molecular biologists from Goethe University found a way to potentially produce cheaper tsetse fly traps using genetically modified (GM) brewer's yeast. This breakthrough may help manage sleeping sickness that devastates the cattle industry in rural parts of Africa.
Tsetse flies are vectors of Trypanasoma, single-celled parasites that cause Trypanosomiasis or sleeping sickness which is characterized by inflammation of the lymph and nervous systems in humans and animals. This sickness can be deadly to cattle which in turn brings damages to the cattle industry of the sub-Saharan region of Africa. One of the ways tsetse fly infestation is managed is by using traps. The flies are attracted to substances found in cattle urine. The same attractants can also be artificially synthesized using extracts from cashew nut shells, but this method is expensive nor is it affordable for rural communities in Africa. The researchers then found a way to synthesize the same attractants in high amounts using GM brewer's yeast. They introduced a new metabolic pathway and changed the sugar metabolism of the yeast to produce 3-ethylphenol and 3-propylphenol – the same attractants found in cow urine.
According to the scientists, the GM yeast could ideally grow in Africa in nutrient solutions such as plant waste products, footrests or fodder rests. This makes the attractant's production almost cost-free.
You might also like:
- Dairy-free Ice Cream Made from GE Yeast Sold Out
- Singapore Scientists Engineered Yeast to Produce Butanol from Food Waste
- Beer Yeast Genomes Reveal Domestication History
Biotech Updates is a weekly newsletter of ISAAA, a not-for-profit organization. It is distributed for free to over 22,000 subscribers worldwide to inform them about the key developments in biosciences, especially in biotechnology. Your support will help us in our mission to feed the world with knowledge. You can help by donating as little as $10.
See more articles:
News from Around the World
- Redefinition and Harmonization in Biotech Regulation Necessary, Experts Say
- Scientists Unlock Secrets of Teff, Ethiopia's Superfood
- GM Yeast Found to Effectively Control Tsetse Flies
- Oxitec's Friendly™ Mosquito Approval Published in Federal Register; Unanimous Approvals in State of Florida
- Sugar from GM Sugarcane at Par With That from Conventional Sugarcane
- Researchers Show How Fungal Pathogen Disables Plant Defense Mechanism
- UK Environment Secretary Proposes Use of Gene Editing to Decrease Farmers' Reliance on Pesticides
- Researchers Pinpoint Genes Involved in Rice Blast Resistance
- Experts Report a Multi-functional Genome Editing Method for Plants
- MIT-Engineered Peptide Targets COVID-19
Read the latest:
- Biotech Updates (February 21, 2024)
- Gene Editing Supplement (February 14, 2024)
- Gene Drive Supplement (February 22, 2023)
Subscribe to BU: