The accurate identification of fruit flies is a key component of Australia's biosecurity system. Efficient skilled application of diagnostic technology underpins the domestic movement of fruit and vegetables, maintains international market access for Australian producers and protects Australia's borders from exotic pest incursion.
To assist Australia maintain market access for a large range of horticultural produce, this project is developing improved molecular diagnostics for use by Australia's plant biosecurity diagnostics network. Focusing on
Bactrocera, diagnostic tools are being revised for all high-priority fruit fly species in the
National Fruit Fly Strategy and their non-pest relatives including offshore and Australian endemics.
The new diagnostic protocols developed in this project are being incorporated in an updated and revised
Australian Handbook for the Identification of Fruit Flies (Version 3).
The project is designed to deliver the following objectives:
- A suite of fruit-fly-specific, functionally relevant, species-level genetic markers for all NFFS high priority species in addition to key exotic/Australian and pest/non-pest species currently absent from existing protocols.
- The generation and incorporation of newly acquired genetic and behavioural data (via sexual compatibility studies) to further resolve the Qfly complex, with a specific focus on
B. tryoni and
- Integration of new molecular diagnostics with updated morphological and behavioural data to produce a 'next generation' identification resource delivered as a revised and updated
Australian Handbook for the Identification of Fruit Flies.
This project is supported by the Plant Biosecurity CRC, www.pbcrc.com.au/research/project/2147