• Bombyx mori;
  • insect industry;
  • silkworm;
  • silk;
  • transgenic


In recent years, research on “insect properties” has been attracting much attention for industrial applications of insect technology. This is a new field of research that attempts to analyze specific physiological properties of insects to develop technology for helping humankind. The term “insect properties” has been used to refer to “specific biological functions of insects” since around 1986, and it is now widely accepted in Japan. From 1996, the National Institute of Sericultural and Entomological Science (NISES) promoted “Research for utilization of insect properties” as a “Center of Excellence (COE)” project funded by the Science and Technology Agency. At this point, a new research field called “Research for utilization of insect properties” was initiated, and this led to the recognition of this field by the academic community. In the 21st century, remarkable results, including the development of transgenic silkworms and the full decoding of the silkworm genome, have been achieved. It is expected that this advanced technology will be a powerful tool for progress of research on the use of insect properties. This review presents an overview of the current state of research on use of insect properties as a new technology.