• One of the true fruit fly species sequenced, Bactrocera jarvisi. Photo credit: UNSW AustraliaOne of the true fruit fly species sequenced, Bactrocera jarvisi. Photo credit: UNSW Australia

UNSW Australia achieve world first for fruit fly genetics

Researchers at UNSW Australia in Sydney have achieved a world first, publishing the complete DNA sequence of the Queensland fruit fly. This development will improve biosecurity and methods for controlling this global horticulture pest.

The Queensland fruit fly is the much larger cousin of the flies that are often seen buzzing round our fruit bowls in the UK. The Queensland fruit fly lays its eggs in, and consequently destroys, a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.

Dr Stuart Gilchrist, the lead author of the study, says: “True fruit flies are the biggest pests of horticulture worldwide... Consequently there has been an informal race to publish the first complete genome of a true fruit fly. The UNSW group has won that race against other groups including the US Department of Agriculture.”

It is hoped that the discovery will assist in the discovery of new methods for controlling this pest.

You can read more about the team’s discovery here.

UNSW Australia will be joining us at the Study Options Open Days in March, research students are welcome to come along to one of these free events and chat to a UNSW Australia representative about their key research areas or any of the wide range of degrees that they offer.

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