Random Thoughts on Recombinant Insects


Thomas Miller
Department of Entomology, University of California, CA

Series: Agriculture Issues and Policies, Insects and Other Terrestrial Arthropods: Biology, Chemistry and Behavior
BISAC: TEC058000

This book discusses the development of transgenic pink bollworm for use in eradicating a major pest insect from the Arizona cotton fields. After pink bollworm invaded California from Arizona around 1968, the California Cotton Pest Control Board and California Department of Food and Agriculture combined to adopt the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) to keep pink bollworm from invading the San Joaquin Valley where the majority of cotton is grown. This book describes attempts to seek government approval to use transgenic pink bollworm that were ultimately unsuccessful despite the approach being the most sustainable and environmentally friendly technology ever invented. Opposition to genetically modified insects used in the SIT strategy, therefore, is very difficult to explain. The second half of the book (random thoughts) addresses this and other attitudes towards biotechnology and other modern technologies including insecticides that remain contentious. (Imprint: Nova)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



1. Introduction: new definition of an organism

2. All organisms are transgenic and multigenomic

3. Transposable elements

4. Making and using transgenic insects

5. Attempts at genetic transformation of tobacco budworm

6. The RIDL gene and field trials with marked insects

7. Species, the transgenic concept and selection

8. Public acceptance of transgenic organisms

9. Synthetic versus organic insecticides

10. Natural versus synthetic materials.

11. Release of genetically modified insects and managed nature

12. Jefferson Science Fellowship year

13. Genetically modified foods

14. Biodiversity and mankind’s role in nature

15. Concluding comments



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