Chinese scientists decode locust’s genome

 Chinese scientists have decoded the genome sequence of the migratory locust, the largest animal genome sequence so far, providing new ways of combating the destructive pest.The extracted genome sequence is of 6.5 gigabytes, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) announced. The research was headed by Le Kang of the Institute of Zoology, CAS said.

The scientists 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.

The findings indicate that the large genome size is likely to be because of transposable element proliferation combined with slow rates of loss for these elements, they reported in the journal Nature Communications.

During their research, scientists found significant expansion of gene families associated with energy consumption and detoxification, consistent with long-distance flight capacity and phytophagy, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

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