Genetically Modified Organism Research Center
Insect Mimetics Research Unit
During the 400 million years of their evolution, insects have acquired a broad variety of specific biological functions that allowed them to colonize almost all types of environments with remarkable adaptation. Insects now constitute the most flourishing group of creatures on earth. The characterization of specific molecular mechanisms discovered in insects and the development of technologies mimicking such mechanisms recently became a focus of attention, because these technologies potentially generate new fields in bioindustry.
For example, we characterized new enzymes used by termites to digest wood, which degrade cellulose very efficiently. In silkworms and beetle larvae, we also discovered unique antimicrobial peptides that protect those insects against bacterial or viral infection.
Larvae of the sleeping Chironomid can survive complete desiccation. Revival of dry larvae upon rehydration was even observed after a long-term exposure to the outer space environment on the international space station. We expect that characterization and utilization of the molecular mechanisms underlying such specific insect functions will lead to evaluation of these new bioresources for industrial purposes.
The Insect Mimetics Research Unit is devoted to the characterization of genes and proteins involved in specific insect functions, and to the mass production of such useful proteins via recombinant DNA technology for their introduction into the market of new biotechnologies.
Our research is devoted to the analysis of specifi c genes and proteins from insect, and to the mass production of such useful proteins.