Hermetia illucens (Linnaeus, 1758), Diptera Stratiomyidae, also known as the Black Soldier Fly (BSF), is native of the United States but has a current cosmopolitan distribution. It is an insect of great interest, as it efficiently bio-convert organic matter into useful by-products, such as fertilizers. Moreover, its larvae and pupae can be utilized for the production of biodiesel, proteins and lipids for feed and food, antimicrobial peptides, and chitin to produce chitosan. Thanks to their body composition (protein 38-46% and fats 33-36%), fast development, and high antimicrobial properties, larvae and pupae have a high potential for large-scale production in the feed industry. H. illucens-based flour is considered as an alternative to the expensive and less sustainable protein source for feed, currently represented by oil and meal fish and soybean meal. H. illucens larvae, in fact, are included in the feed additives register of the European Union and are approved for poultry and fish feeding. Although H. illucens larvae are considered excellent feed candidates, several studies suggest that they could only partially replace traditional feeds, due to their high fatty acids content that can reduce animal growth and increase hepatic inflammation. For this reason, there is a need to improve the fatty acids composition of insects to meet the nutritional needs and health of animals. The project aims to sequence and de novo assembly the H. illucens genome, by Dovetail Genomics, to obtain detailed information on the genetic and genomic organization of this species. The precise genomic sequencing will also allow a genetic engineering approach through CRISPR/Cas9 technique, based on the introduction of the Apolipoprotein-I Milano (AIM) sequence encoding for an anti-inflammatory and anti-atherogenic protein. The genome modification will, therefore, improve the utilization of H. illucens as a feed ingredient. The flour obtained from the larvae of H. illucens-AIM could improve the nutritional value of feed and the lipid balance in animals, reducing the potential side effect of dyslipidemia caused by the use of the not engineered BSF larvae in intensive farming.

Hermetia illucens (Diptera Stratiomyidae): de novo genome assembly and molecular farming units for the production and delivery of anti-inflammatory peptides

Abenaim Linda
Primo
;
Conti Barbara;Giovannoni Roberto
2021

Abstract

Hermetia illucens (Linnaeus, 1758), Diptera Stratiomyidae, also known as the Black Soldier Fly (BSF), is native of the United States but has a current cosmopolitan distribution. It is an insect of great interest, as it efficiently bio-convert organic matter into useful by-products, such as fertilizers. Moreover, its larvae and pupae can be utilized for the production of biodiesel, proteins and lipids for feed and food, antimicrobial peptides, and chitin to produce chitosan. Thanks to their body composition (protein 38-46% and fats 33-36%), fast development, and high antimicrobial properties, larvae and pupae have a high potential for large-scale production in the feed industry. H. illucens-based flour is considered as an alternative to the expensive and less sustainable protein source for feed, currently represented by oil and meal fish and soybean meal. H. illucens larvae, in fact, are included in the feed additives register of the European Union and are approved for poultry and fish feeding. Although H. illucens larvae are considered excellent feed candidates, several studies suggest that they could only partially replace traditional feeds, due to their high fatty acids content that can reduce animal growth and increase hepatic inflammation. For this reason, there is a need to improve the fatty acids composition of insects to meet the nutritional needs and health of animals. The project aims to sequence and de novo assembly the H. illucens genome, by Dovetail Genomics, to obtain detailed information on the genetic and genomic organization of this species. The precise genomic sequencing will also allow a genetic engineering approach through CRISPR/Cas9 technique, based on the introduction of the Apolipoprotein-I Milano (AIM) sequence encoding for an anti-inflammatory and anti-atherogenic protein. The genome modification will, therefore, improve the utilization of H. illucens as a feed ingredient. The flour obtained from the larvae of H. illucens-AIM could improve the nutritional value of feed and the lipid balance in animals, reducing the potential side effect of dyslipidemia caused by the use of the not engineered BSF larvae in intensive farming.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/1075287
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