Super monosex shrimps created in the laboratory that could reduce the spread of an important parasite as well as increase the results of aquaculture: this is the purpose that is being carried out by a group of researchers from the Ben-Gurion University of Negev (BGU).
In a study published in Scientific Reports, the group talks about a “super shrimp” that produces only female offspring. This is precisely the reason for the increase in results in terms of aquaculture.
This is an interesting biotechnological result that could have important implications also in the economic field.
The researchers, by transplanting androgenic gland cells, were able to cause complete sex reversal in females of Macrobrachium rosenbergii shrimps that have become functional males. Through the latter, an all-female progeny without the Z chromosome can be produced.
Tom Levy is one of the researchers involved in the project together with Professor Amir Sagi. Levy himself speaks of the usefulness of this research also with regard to the fight against parasites: “Shrimps serve as effective biocontrol agents against parasite-carrying snails. And because we can now use monosex shrimps, which do not reproduce, it reduces the risk of the shrimp becoming an invasive species.”
The snails that shrimp feed on, in fact, can carry parasites that cause schistosomiasis, a disease that can have bad effects on the human urogenital system.
The results have also been achieved without the use of hormones or genetic modifications.