Innovation

Research laid genetically modified fruit fly to control destructive pest

“Self-limiting gene" is inserted into male fruit flies, which prevents the female offspring from reaching adulthood.
Research laid genetically modified fruit fly to control destructive pest

Crop damage has been a huge problem.Farmers bear tremendous loss. A lot of researches have been laid by the agricultural department to bring solutions. “Crop damage share a peculiar reasons with each being different to identify,” says Virendra Damodar, agriculture scientist, govt. of Odisha.

In regards to this an international research organisation,West Australian,are hoping a genetically modified fruit fly will help break the breeding cycle of the Mediterranean fruit fly, a destructive pest.

Mediterranean fruit fly, or Medfly, is a significant horticultural pest that causes an estimated $200 million damage to West Australian crops each year.The Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia (DAFWA) is looking at alternative methods of Medfly control after the phasing out of insecticide fenthion.

DAFWA has now teamed up with UK technology company Oxitec to trial the effectiveness of a new method of Medfly control using genetically modified organisms (GMO).Oxitec research group leader Neil Morrison said the method worked a bit like Medfly sterilisation, which is another method of pest control.

Morrison said a "self-limiting gene" is inserted into male fruit flies, which prevents the female offspring from reaching adulthood."If you reduce the number of females, that knocks down the pest population in the next generation," he said.

DAFWA director of horticulture development David Windsor said the department was set to begin greenhouse trials at its South Perth facility in 2016.Dr Windsor said the department imported the GMO fruit fly strain from Oxitec in the UK last month.He said the next step was to breed 5,000 flies for colony testing."What those test are essentially about is do the local WA girls of the Medfly world like the British boys," he said. 

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