Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

UPDATE: Exelixis/Bayer Crop-Guard JV Sequences Moth Genome

This story has been updated from an earlier version. It includes comment from an Exelixis spokeswoman.


NEW YORK, April 3 - An agbio joint venture of Exelixis and Bayer has collected "a nearly complete" map of the Heliothis virescens genome, the parent companies said today.

It took about a year for the JV, Genoptera, to sequence the genome of the widely used moth, according to Exelixis and Bayer, a feat may displace drosophila as the most economical insect to help researchers develop safer and more effective insecticides.
Bayer, the world's 900-pound gorilla of insecticide development, plans to use the H. virescens genome to harvest new crop-protection products. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Researchers at Exelixis mapped about 90 percent of the H. virescens genome by using the shotgun method after first sequencing the organism's ESTs. Drawing on their experience with Drosophila, the scientists used Exelixis' bioinformatics tools to correlate genomic sequence data from both species and compare the two genomes for common genes.


A spokewoman for Exelixis said that Bayer, which believes the sequence has commercial value, does have any immediate plans to make the data publicly available. A spokesman for Bayer was not immediately available for comment.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.