William Wood, a geneticist from the University of Colorado at Boulder, US, has found a method for controlling crop-decimating nematode (roundworm) populations. A gene, isolated from another small worm - Caenorhabditis elegans - can determine whether a fertilised egg will become a male worm. This gene has been named Her-I and is responsive only in mates. In certain nematods, only the females damage crops - so the sex of the worm is crucial. If a crop can he engineered to produce Her-1, the gene can move from plant cells to the worm eggs producing harmless males (Discover, October 1995).
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.