Importation of sterile Queensland Fruit Flies for research

25 June 2015

Plant and Food Research were recently granted permission to import sterile Queensland fruit flies (QFF) into a New Zealand containment facility to develop new attractants for female and male flies. The project will determine what the flies can smell and if these odours can be used to improve the sensitivity of traps or increase the numbers of flies lured in. Three approaches will be used; odours based on host fruit, sex pheromones and bacteria.

This research is part of a larger collaborative approach with Australian organisations to manage and eradicate QFF populations. One of these collaborations is the SITPlus partnership, a five year $22 million R&D partnership using Sterile Insect Techniques (SIT). Supporting these research activities, is the development of a SIT facility that is capable of producing 50 million sterile QFF per week as an eradication tool for release in Australia or New Zealand should an established population ever become larger enough for this to be required. A brochure on the SITPlus project can be found here.

KVH supports these research activities as an integral component of our readiness activities for the industry’s most unwanted biosecurity threat.

Matt Dyck, KVH Biosecurity