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Heritable changes confer resistance to BCA in wax moths

Researchers have identified heritable epigenetic changes in an insect pest conferring resistance to the biological control agent (BCA), Beauveria bassiana. The study looked at the effects of sustained pathogen pressure from B bassiana and another insect fungal pathogen, Metarhizium anisopliae, over 25 generations of a melanic population of the greater wax moth ( Galleria mellonella). Results showed that 25th generation larvae exhibited significantly enhanced resistance specific to B bassiana but not M anisopliae. Melanic populations were used as melanin expression confers moderate resistance to fungal pathogens.

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