The Hulk Effect: Genetic Advancements in BSF Larvae Body Size

The Hulk Effect: Genetic Advancements in BSF Larvae Body Size

In the 2003 film “Hulk,” scientist Bruce Banner’s exposure to gamma radiation transforms him into the powerful Hulk when angered. Similarly, advancements in genetic manipulation have led to remarkable increases in the body size of Black Soldier Fly (BSF) larvae, showcasing their potential for significant improvements.

Genetic manipulated larvae-HiPtth, WT-wild type. Photo source: Zhan et al. (2020);

As illustrated, genetically manipulated BSF larvae can now exceed 600 mg/larva, a substantial leap compared to the 300 mg/larva achieved by general industrial larvae and the 200 mg/larva of wild-type larvae.

This increase in body weight not only amplifies the feeding capacity per larva but also extends the last larval instar period from 4-5 days to over 85 days in genetically manipulated larvae.

Benefits of Prolonged Feeding Period and Increased Body Size in Genetically Manipulated BSF Larvae:

Enhanced Bioconversion Efficiency:

  • Larger body sizes and prolonged feeding periods enable genetically manipulated BSF larvae to consume more organic waste per larva, resulting in higher consumption efficiency.

Increased Biomass Production:

  • The significant improvement in body weight, especially the increased body fat in the later larval stage, contributes to heightened biomass production. This proves advantageous for BSF larvae used in biodiesel production.

Nutrient Enrichment:

  • Prolonged feeding periods lead to higher nutrient content in the insect biomass, particularly beneficial when using the insects as a feedstock in animal nutrition, yielding a more nutritionally valuable product.

Extended Harvesting Period:

  • With the larval instar period extended to over 85 days, there’s a broader window for harvesting. This flexibility allows for a continuous and sustained production of the genetically manipulated BSF larvae.

Consistent Production:

  • Longer feeding periods contribute to more consistent production of BSF larvae, particularly advantageous for industries relying on them as a feedstock or raw material for products like animal feed, biofuels, or organic fertilizers.

Flexibility in Production Planning:

  • Prolonged feeding periods offer flexibility in production planning, allowing industries to adjust harvesting schedules and production timelines to meet market demands and optimize resource use.

The Hulk’s legacy extends beyond the screen, influencing genetic advancements that promise a greener and more sustainable future with BSF larvae at the forefront.

Comments on this post

Comment posted by Dr Farhan Ahmad:

Can we feed larvae a combination of layer manure and broiler dead birds to its protein concentration?

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