Agriculture Fruit fly numbers could be set to crash

Fruit fly numbers could be set to crash

Researchers at the University of New South Wales and the University of Western Sydney have published a study that could mean bad news for the common Queensland fruit fly and good news for Australia’s fruit growers.

A team of scientists, led by Dr. Jennifer Morrow from UWS, has been able to determine the particular point in the development of the fruit fly during which they become either male or female.

With this information, a method could be developed to breed only sterile males, which would very quickly help to diminish populations of the pest without major follow-on environmental effects.

Such a development would allow fruit growers to eventually discontinue entirely the already restricted use of potentially harmful and increasingly ineffective pesticides. The only obstacle to this environmentally friendly method now seems to be breeding the sterile male populations in large enough quantities to make an impact.

What is certain is the relatively small investment required to undertake this clever Australian university study could have enormous positive economic implications for the nation’s fruit growing industry.

Incredible research projects such as this are changing our nation and keeping Australia clever. Sign the petition to show your support. We can ensure Australia doesn’t get left behind. 


[img source] John Morrow