Scientists are attempting to reduce diseases in farmed catfish by genetically engineering them with alligator genes.
Dr. Rex Dunham, an expert in fish genetics at the University of Auburn alongside his colleagues, is attempting to “insert alligator genes into the genomes of fish.”
Dr. Dunham has decided to insert alligator genes into catfish because alligators contain the gene cathelicidin, an antimicrobial used to fight infections.
The team of researchers and scientists also plan to genetically alter the catfish to make sure they can no longer produce.
Disease Resistant Catfish by CRISPR, alligator gene coding cathelicidinhttps://t.co/YdGaKOqVxB
— Genetics of Aquatic Organisms (@genaquajournal) January 20, 2023
For their experiment the team of scientists at the University of Auburn are using CRISPR, a gene editing tool.
MIT Technology Review had more details to share about the experiment:
Dunham, Baofeng Su (also at Auburn University), and their colleagues used the gene-editing tool CRISPR to insert the alligator gene for cathelicidin into the part of the genome that codes for an important reproductive hormone, “to try to kill two birds with one stone,” says Dunham. Without the hormone, fish are unable to spawn.
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.
Over the last several years, scientists and engineers have been using CRISPR gene editing technology more and more.
The Gateway Pundit previously reported the CIA is funding Colossal Biosciences to resurrect the extinct Wooly Mammoth by using CRISPR technology.