A team of scientists, including researchers from the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and BGI have published the whole genome sequence of the most common locust species, Locusta migratoria.
They have found that the locust genome is huge - 6.5 gigabytes – making it the largest animal genome sequenced to date. The researchers were particularly interested in identifying gene targets for pest control and insecticides.
Swarms of locusts are well known, and indeed feared, for their huge appetites and ability to travel great distances, meaning they can devastate crops with little warning.
Story source: BGI news, 16 Jan 2014
Journal Reference: Xianhui Wang et al. The locust genome provides insight into swarm formation and long-distance flight. Nature Communications, 2014; 5 DOI:10.1038/ncomms3957