Engineered cotton moth


Registered Senior Member
A genetically modified strain of the cotton moth has been developed. The cotton moth damages cotton crops causing millions of dollars of damage every year. The new moth is not capable of reproduction. Releasing these into the wilds would cause a reduction in the numbers of moths now ragaving the crops.

Enviromental groups want to stop such release from happening. I think that they wish to study the effects prior to the release.

Why would a release of sterile specimens reduce the number of moths ravaging crops?
From Agricultural Research Magazine

Sumerford is checking for genetic differences between individuals and families. He's developing a genetic map to pinpoint insects that could become resistant to Bt. One adult female can lay 400 to 500 eggs, and a moth can fly several miles. Sumerford says, "We want to know if the resistance trait can be spread to other regions. This kind of information combined with the genetic map will help us better monitor any changes in field populations."

The original story appeared on CNN Headline News. The female moth, unable to produce viable eggs will lay eggs that will not develop. The male moths’ reproductive energy is wasted upon a moth that will not develop progeny. This decreases the next generation’s population.