Dr. Rex Dunham, an expert in fish genetics at the University of Auburn, and his colleagues attempt to “insert alligator genes into the genomes of fish.”
In theory, genetically engineering fish with genes that protect them from disease could reduce waste and help limit the environmental impact of fish farming.
In a new study released on the preprint server bioRxiv, the team of scientists at the University of Auburn team used CRISPR to insert the alligator gene that codes for cathelicidin into catfish (building on earlier experiments in “gatorfying” catfish published in Scientific Reports in 2020).
As a precautionary measure, they inserted a part of the catfish genome that normally codes for a reproductive hormone which rendered the genetically modified fish sterile, ensuring they wouldn’t be able to reproduce if they escaped into the wild.
The resulting fish do seem to be more resistant to infections. When the researchers put two different types of disease-causing bacteria in water tanks, they found that gene-edited fish were much more likely to survive than their counterparts that had not undergone gene editing.
Depending on the infection, “the survival rate of the cathelicidin transgenic fish was between two- and five-fold higher,” says Dunham. Dunham, Baofeng Su (also at Auburn University),
The transgenic fish are also sterile and can’t reproduce unless they are injected with reproductive hormones, say the researchers, who published their findings online at the preprint server bioRxiv. The paper has not yet been peer-reviewed.
Over the last several years, scientists and engineers have been using CRISPR gene editing technology more and more.
The Auburn scientists hope to eventually get their transgenic catfish approved so that it can be sold and eaten. But that could be a long process.
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3 thoughts on “Alligator Genes Inserted into Catfish for CRISPR Experiment”
HAVE THEY EATEN ONE YET, CORN GMO INTRODUCED KILLS INSECTS THAT TRY TO EAT IT , JUST EXACTLY WHAT ARE WE EATING ??? WHEN THEY REPRODUCE WHAT HAPPENS ? DO THEY MUTAYE AND DO THEY BECOME AGRESSIVE, I THINK THEY SHOULD LEAVE IT ALONE !! VIETNAM VET 67-68
Bio-engineering a future environmental disaster…..as only humans can do. lol