Species still confined to the laboratory and researchers will need years of data from large-scale experiments, scientist says
Chinese researchers who created a rapidly growing “giant” transgenic carp have expressed cautious optimism it will one day land on dining tables.
The fish, dubbed guanli (crown carp) by its creators, was shown to the public during an international life science conference in Beijing in November.
“The enormous crown carp caught the audience’s attention,” Professor Hu Wei, a lead scientist in the research conducted at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Wuhan-based Institute of Hydrobiology, wrote in an article on the academy’s website.
The transgenic carp could grow to adult size twice as fast as common carp, he wrote. And it ate almost everything, from microorganisms to grass, and would thus be easy to grow in a fish farm.
The researchers mixed the genes of a fast-growing, grass-eating carp with an omnivorous species to create the traits.
The transgenic species was first created in the 1980s, according to information on the institute’s website. In the following decades the research team conducted biosecurity investigations that concluded the transgenic species was as safe to eat as natural carp species.