Wolbachia method is sometimes talked about with reference to which one of the following?

UPSC Prelims 2023 Question:

Wolbachia method is sometimes talked about with reference to which one of the following?

a) Controlling the viral diseases spread by mosquitoes

b) Converting crop residues into packing material

c) Producing biodegradable plastics

d) Producing biochar from thermochemical conversion of biomass

Correct Answer: Option a) Controlling the viral diseases spread by mosquitoes

Learn more about the Wolbachia method from the given explanation below.

Explanation:

The Wolbachia method is simple. When Aedes aegypti mosquitoes carry Wolbachia, the bacteria compete with viruses like dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever. This makes it harder for viruses to reproduce inside the mosquitoes. And the mosquitoes are much less likely to spread viruses from person to person. This means that when Aedes aegypti mosquitoes carry natural Wolbachia bacteria, the transmission of viruses like dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever is reduced.

Advantages of Wolbachia

Wolbachia is a good bacterium for certain insects. The advantages of Wolbachia are as follows:

  • The flies and mosquitos infected with Wolbachia bacteria are more resistant to RNA viruses such as West Nile virus, Chickungunya virus, cricket paralysis virus, flock house virus and Norovirus.
  • In leafminers, the bacteria help their hosts to produce green islands. The leafminers are insects that lives and easts the leaf tissues in their larval stage. The Wolbachia bacteria help the leafminers to produce green islands on the leaves that are yellowing. This allows the larva to grow to their adult forms.
  • It helps in iron metabolism in some of the insect species.
  • The occurrence of Wolbachia in household mosquitos help them remain resistant to insecticides.
  • The Wolbachia induce fecundity in some of their hosts. Fecundity is fertility selection. It is the fitness advantage that increase the number of offspring.

Therefore, option (a) is the correct answer.

Subject: Science & Technology | Health and Diseases

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