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Genetically engineered silkworm to produce specific color

11
May '07
According to a new study by Takashi Sakudoh from Tokyo University, Japanese scientists have engineered silkworms to produce a specific color with pigment transport technique. This will make progress for genetic manipulation of the colour and pigment content of silk.

In nature, shades of the silk cocoon vary from white, yellow, straw, salmon, pink and green. The colours in the silk are from natural pigments absorbed when the silkworms eat mulberry leaves.

Using genetic engineering techniques, the scientists were able to introduce an unmutated version of the gene into the mutant insects to produce yellow-coloured cocoons. Cross-breeding was able to produce a more vivid yellow colour.


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