Breakthrough CRISPR Technique Allows Genetic Editing Of Cockroaches

18 May 2022

Scientists have edited the genes of cockroaches using CRISPR for the first time. (Photo by Erik Karits on Unsplash)

Researchers have successfully used CRISPR, a gene editing technology, on cockroaches in a first that opens the door to future gene-editing research on insects. GEN reports:

A collaborative study from the University of Kyoto in Japan, and the Institute of Evolutionary Biology in Barcelona, Spain, reported a new method for editing genes in cockroaches and a variety of insect species by directly injecting Cas9 ribonucleoproteins (RNPs) in adult females instead of the challenging endeavor of microinjecting insect embryos, the method currently in vogue. The new method is intuitively named “direct parental” CRISPR (DIPA-CRISPR).

“In a sense, insect researchers have been freed from the annoyance of egg injections,” said Takaaki Daimon, PhD, professor at Kyoto University and senior author of the study. “We can now edit insect genomes more freely and at will. In principle, this method should work for more than 90% of insect species.”

The findings were published in an article titled “DIPA-CRISPR is a simple and accessible method for insect gene editing” in the journal Cell Reports Methods on May 16, 2022.

From ScienceDaily: “Current approaches for insect gene editing typically require microinjection of materials into early embryos, severely limiting its application to many species. For example, past studies have not achieved genetic manipulation of cockroaches due to their unique reproductive system. In addition, insect gene editing often requires expensive equipment, a specific experimental setup for each species, and highly skilled laboratory personnel.”

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