Investigating genetic diversity and microRNA of Hermetia illucens (the black soldier fly) to breed for mass production of a novel sustainable protein
De Raedt, Sarah Joanne
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Introduction: A new sustainable source of protein is needed to meet the demands of the growing global population. Insect meal is a suitable replacement, and the black soldier fly (BSF) is the most used insect in industrial rearing. The black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) are not only high in sought-after nutrients (protein, fat, and chitin/source of fiber), but they also reduce organic waste that would go into landfills by consuming the waste and leaving behind a beneficial residue, which is used in fertilizers. However, little has been published on the genetics of BSF which are crucial to optimizing mass breeding programs necessary to meet the population demands. The aim of this study was to further the base of knowledge beneficial to mass rearing protocols by describing the genetic diversity of 3 populations, under differing scales of rearing, and the microRNA expression profile across 5 life stages, along with the first report of the novel microRNA of BSF.