2013-03-27

Scientists decode pine beetle genome

Gnawing pests that are devastating Canada’s forests and agriculture may not have an appetite for destruction for long, because of a recent scientific breakthrough.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia and the Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre have decoded the genome of the mountain pine beetle, which will allow for a first look into how the beetles can cause so much devastation, and why.

Because mountain pine beetles live under a tree’s bark, the bugs can’t be sprayed, and keeping the insect’s hunger at bay is difficult.