Time of fruit fly sex determination pinpointed

The exact point in time developing fruit fly pests become male or female has been identified.

University of Western Sydney researchers discovered the time specific genes of Queensland fruit flies and related species first form proteins that influence sex determination.

The scientists plan to breed single-sex sterile male fruit flies to control the population in an environmentally-friendly way.

Fruit flies have inflicted millions of dollars-worth of damages on the Australian fruit-growing industry, with current pest control options, such as insecticides, restricted given their potential risk to human health and the environment.

The findings, which have been published in journal Insect Molecular Biology, are important to develop new bacterial or genetic approaches to pest control.

Read more at Western Sydney University