Technology Strategy Board awards Oxitec and Liverpool University grant to sequence diamondback moth genome

April 5, 2011

In a UK-funded competition, for projects aiming to use genome sequencing to develop new products, the UK Government’s Technology Strategy Board have named Oxitec and the Centre for Genomic Research (CGR) in Liverpool as winners for their proposed ‘Gene discovery in the diamondback moth for novel pest control’.

Costing an annual US$1 billion to control, the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella, is the number one global pest of cruciferous crops, which include cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and oilseed.  Its propensity to rapidly develop resistance to pesticides means that new methods of control are sorely needed by farmers across the world.

We have developed a novel, chemical-free pest control method, called Release of Insects carrying a Dominant Lethal (RIDL®), which they hope to apply to the diamondback moth in the future.

In partnership with leaders in the field of genome sequencing at Liverpool University’s CGR, we hope to use genome sequencing methods to provide new information on gene expression in this moth. Such data will prove extremely valuable for the development of RIDL in diamondback moth.

The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led government body which works to create economic growth by ensuring that the UK is a global leader in innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit

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