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    Rights: The University of Waikato
    Published 1 December 2005 Referencing Hub media

    In the case of biological control, it is an organism that carries, or transfers, the control agent to the target organism. For example, in the research into possum biocontrol being carried out at AgResearch, a vector is needed to spread the hormone toxin amongst possums in order to make them infertile.


    Dr Warwick Grant (AgResearch)
    A vector in the biological context is an organism that spreads some agent through the environment, so there are many insects for example that are vectors for diseases. Mosquitos spread malaria, therefore mosquitoes are a vector for malaria. We want to use our nematode as a vector for a biological control. The biological control is the contraception of possums. The nematodes themselves don’t do the contraception, what we want them to do is carry a gene that we are going to put in there, that when that gene is expressed, the expression of that gene will result in the contraception in the possum. So the nematodes carry it and introduce it into a possum, and they act as a vector.