The diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) preferentially feeds on economically important food crops such as rapeseed, cauliflower and cabbage. It has developed resistance to against more than 50 insecticides, including DDT, Bt toxins, among others, making the use of chemicals as a control measurement become ineffective. It is estimated that the total cost associated with the damage and management is US$4-5 billion per year worldwide.
“The completed genome sequencing of DBM will lay a solid foundation for tracking the evolutionary mechanisms of how an insect evolves to become a successful herbivore that can defense many insecticides.” said Professor Minsheng You, Vice President of FAFU and leader of the research team. “The work here also provides an invaluable resource for scientists to better understand the reasons why DBM is such a serious pest and how new strategies can be developed to control insect pests.”