Raising Qfly Sterile Insect Technique to World Standard


The Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) is used around the word to control many pest fruit flies, and such programs are supported by significant investment and depth in R&D. By comparison Qfly SIT remains poorly developed and insufficiently effective for deployment as a mainstream control option. A substantial R&D effort is now needed to raise Qfly SIT to world standard, and to establish SIT as a mainstream Qfly control option for use in area wide management programs.

The SITPlus consortium has been established to lead and co-ordinate the development of Qfly SIT and to support the development activities of a new Qfly SIT facility currently under construction in SA. We here propose a substantial research program that aims to bring both the technology and scientific underpinnings of Qfly SIT and AWM up to world standard as quickly as possible to meet the schedule required to ensure that the SITPlus initiative, and the new SA facility, succeed in delivering viable and sustainable solutions to Australian growers.

Our approach is integrative and collaborative, with broad participation from across the SITPlus consortium to make best use of available expertise and facilities across institutions. In addition to meeting the immediate and strategic needs of Qfly SIT R&D, this project will also train the next generation of fruit fly and biosecurity researchers for Australia. Eighteen PhD students and eight Research Fellows will be directly involved in the proposed research, working across institutions to carry out each element of their work at the most appropriate institution.

Delivered by Macquarie University / Project code: HG14033

Published papers:

Pest Management Science Benelli M, Ponton F & Taylor PW (in press) Cool storage of Queensland fruit fly eggs for increased flexibility in rearing programs.

Bactrocera tryoni. Journal of Pest Science 91: 1441-1454 Adnan SM, Méndez V, Morelli R, Akter H, Farhana I & Taylor PW (2018) Dietary methoprene supplement promotes early sexual maturation of male Queensland fruit fly

Journal of Thermal Biology 78: 290-297 Lynch KE, White TE & Kemp DJ (2018) The effect of captive breeding upon adult thermal preference in the Queensland fruit fly (Bactrocera tryoni)

Journal of Applied Entomology 142: 380-387 Akter H & Taylor PW (2018) Sexual inhibition of female Queensland fruit flies mated by males treated with raspberry ketone supplements as immature adults

Scientific Reports 8:14750 Morimoto J, Nguyen B, Tabrizi ST, Ponton F & Taylor PW (2018) Social and nutritional factors shape larval aggregation, foraging, and body mass in a polyphagous fly

Scientific Reports 8:16503 Pérez J, Park SJ & Taylor PW (2018) Domestication modifies the volatile emissions produced by male Queensland fruit flies during sexual advertisement

PLoS ONE 12(8):e0184086 Akter H, Adnan S, Morelli R, Rempoulakis P & Taylor PW (2017) Suppression of cuelure attraction in male Queensland fruit fly provided raspberry ketone supplements as immature adults

Pest Management Science 73: 1764–1770 Akter H, Méndez V, Morelli R, Perez J & Taylor PW (2017) Raspberry ketone supplement promotes early sexual maturation in male Queensland fruit fly, Bactrocera tryoni (Diptera: Tephritidae)

Scientific Reports 7: 13025 Sultana S, Baumgartner JB, Dominiak BC, Royer JE & Beaumont LJ (2017) Potential impacts of climate change on habitat suitability for the Queensland fruit fly


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