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Press release | Scientific publications | Scientific result | Health ＆ life sciences | Genomics
As part of an international consortium, INRA researchers, in partnership with the CEA and INRIA, have sequenced one of the first genomes of a moth from the superfamily Noctuoidea: Spodoptera frugiperda, or armyworm. This crop pest – until now only known on the American continent – has become invasive in Africa since 2016. Published in Scientific Reports on 25 September 2017, this study opens up perspectives for new methods of biological control and a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in the appearance of pesticide resistance.
For the purpose of the study, two genomes of S. frugiperda were analysed: two genomic variants based on the insect's host plant – the maize variant and rice variant, which are found throughout their range of distribution in America. The researchers found differences between the variants in terms of the number and sequence of genes necessary to detoxify the toxins emitted by the plants and in the genes necessary for digestion.
This data was made available to the international scientific community to allow specialists to identify which variant of the moth is invading Africa. Moreover, this work will also make it possible to envision new biological control methods. It will also improve understanding of the mechanisms by which pesticide resistance appears.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.