We've updated our Privacy Policy to make it clearer how we use your personal data.

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. You can read our Cookie Policy here.

Advertisement
Mealworms Show Promise as a Good, Sustainable Food Source
News

Mealworms Show Promise as a Good, Sustainable Food Source

Mealworms Show Promise as a Good, Sustainable Food Source
News

Mealworms Show Promise as a Good, Sustainable Food Source

Credit: Ti Eriksson, Beta Hatch
Read time:
 

Want a FREE PDF version of This News Story?

Complete the form below and we will email you a PDF version of "Mealworms Show Promise as a Good, Sustainable Food Source"

First Name*
Last Name*
Email Address*
Country*
Company Type*
Job Function*
Would you like to receive further email communication from Technology Networks?

Technology Networks Ltd. needs the contact information you provide to us to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, check out our Privacy Policy

With global food demands rising at an alarming rate, a study led by IUPUI scientists has found new evidence that a previously overlooked insect shows promise as alternative protein source: the yellow mealworm.

The research is based upon a new analysis of the genome of the mealworm species Tenebrio molitor led by Christine Picard, associate professor of biology and director of the Forensic and Investigative Sciences program at the School of Science at IUPUI.

The work was published in the Journal of Insects as Food and Feed on August 31st.

"Human populations are continuing to increase, and the stress on protein production is increasing at an unsustainable rate, not even considering climate change," said Picard, whose lab focuses on the use of insects to address global food demand.

The research, conducted in partnership with Beta Hatch Inc., has found the yellow mealworm – historically a pest – can provide benefit in a wide range of agriculture applications. Not only can it can be used as an alternative source of protein for animals including fish, but its waste is also ideal as organic fertilizer.

Picard and her team sequenced the yellow mealworm's genome using 10X Chromium linked-read technology. The results will help those who now wish to utilize the DNA and optimize the yellow mealworm for mass production and consumption. This new technology integrates the best of two sequencing methods to produce a reliable genome sequence.

"Insect genomes are challenging, and the longer sequence of DNA you can generate, the better genome you can assemble," Picard said.

She added that the mealworm has – and will have – a wide variety uses.

"Mealworms, being insects, are a part of the natural diet of many organisms," Picard said. "Fish enjoy mealworms, for example. They could also be really useful in the pet food industry as an alternative protein source, chickens like insects – and maybe one day humans, too, because it's an alternative source of protein."

Next, Picard said the researchers plan to look at what governs some of the biological processes of yellow mealworms in order to harness information useful for the commercialization of these insects.

Reference:
Eriksson T, Andere AA, Kelstrup H, Emery VJ, Picard CJ. The yellow mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) genome: a resource for the emerging insects as food and feed industry. Journal of Insects as Food and Feed. 2020;0(0):1-12. doi: 10.3920/jiff2019.0057

This article has been republished from the following materials. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.

Advertisement