Amanda Choo

Dr Amanda Choo

Research Associate

School of Biological Sciences

Faculty of Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD (as Co-Supervisor) - email supervisor to discuss availability.

Dr Amanda Choo is a Grant-funded Researcher in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Adelaide and works closely with the Entomology Unit at the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI). Her research focuses on developing genetic strains for the use of agricultural and biosecurity pest control. She was the first in her research field to establish the CRISPR/Cas genome editing technology in tephritid fruit flies, with her work being amongst the top cited articles in the Journal of Applied Entomology in 2018-2019 (Choo et al., 2018). Dr Choo has been awarded the Dean’s Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence (2015), University of Adelaide School of Biological Sciences Postgraduate all round Achievement Award (2015), Insect Genetic Technologies Research Coordination Network (IGTRCN) Peer-to-Peer Training Fellowship (2016), SARDI Publication of the Year Award (2020), Australian Federation of University Women Postdoctoral Grant Award (2021) and the Edith Dornwell Medal for Early Career Research Excellence (2021). Dr Choo is a member of the national SITPlus Technical Advisory Committee and have strong collaborations with various tephritid fruit fly research groups, both nationally and internationally.

Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) involves mass rearing and release of sterile male insects to control and suppress outbreak populations of pest species. The released sterile males will mate with wild females, resulting in the females producing non-viable eggs, ultimately acting as a “birth control” strategy. This will lead to the reduction and/or eradication of pest species in the targeted area. 

I'm working in collaboration with the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) as part of the SITplus consortium to develop SIT strains to control one of the major horticultural pests in Australia, Bactrocera tryoni (Queensland fruit fly). My research focus is on using gene editing technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9 to produce novel and improved strains that can increase the efficacy and efficiency of SIT.

Current research projects:

  • Development of Bactrocera tryoni temperature-sensitive lethal strains using CRISPR/Cas mutagenesis (Choo et al., 2020 ; Nguyen et al., 2021)
  • Production of different pupal colour strains for Bactrocera tryoni (Ward et al., 2021)
  • Translocation of autosomal gene regions to the Y chromosome in Bactrocera tryoni 

Current HDR student projects:

  • Generation and characterisation of visible markers in Bactrocera tryoni for sterile release (Nguyen et al., 2021)
  • Characterisation of Bactrocera tryoni pupal colour mutant strains 

Potential Honours projects:

  • CRISPR mutagenesis of the yellow2 gene for Queensland fruit fly control
  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2020 Grant-funded Researcher University of Adelaide
    2015 - 2019 Research Associate University of Adelaide
    2010 - 2010 Research Assistant University of Adelaide
    2009 - 2009 Research Assistant (Lysosomal Diseases Research Unit) SA Pathology
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2011 - 2015 University of Adelaide Australia PhD
    2008 - 2008 University of Adelaide Australia B.Sc. (Hons) (Genetics)
    2005 - 2007 University of Adelaide Australia B.Sc. (Mol. Biol.)
  • Research Interests

  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2021 Nguyen, T. N. M., Mendez, V., Ward, C., Crisp, P., Papanicolaou, A., Choo, A., . . . Baxter, S. W. (2021). Disruption of duplicated yellow genes in Bactrocera tryoni modifies pigmentation colouration and impacts behaviour. Journal of Pest Science, 94(3), 917-932.
    2021 Ward, C. M., Aumann, R. A., Whitehead, M. A., Nikolouli, K., Leveque, G., Gouvi, G., . . . Schetelig, M. F. (2021). White pupae phenotype of tephritids is caused by parallel mutations of a MFS transporter. Nature Communications, 12(1), 12 pages.
    DOI Scopus4 WoS4 Europe PMC3
    2021 Nguyen, T. N. M., Choo, A., & Baxter, S. W. (2021). Lessons from Drosophila: Engineering Genetic Sexing Strains with Temperature-Sensitive Lethality for Sterile Insect Technique Applications. Insects, 12(3), 243.
    DOI Scopus2 WoS2 Europe PMC2
    2021 Lee, C. S., Choo, A., Dayan, S., Richards, R. I., & O'Keefe, L. V. (2021). Molecular biology of the WWOX gene that spans chromosomal fragile site FRA16D. Cells, 10(7), 1-13.
    DOI Scopus2 WoS1 Europe PMC1
    2020 Choo, A., Fung, E., Chen, I. Y., Saint, R., Crisp, P., & Baxter, S. W. (2020). Precise single base substitution in the shibire gene by CRISPR/Cas9-mediated homology directed repair in Bactrocera tryoni. BMC Genetics, 21(Suppl. 2), 127-1-127-10.
    DOI Scopus2 WoS2 Europe PMC1
    2019 Choo, A., Nguyen, T. N. M., Ward, C. M., Chen, I. Y., Sved, J., Shearman, D., . . . Baxter, S. W. (2019). Identification of Y-chromosome scaffolds of the Queensland fruit fly reveals a duplicated gyf gene paralogue common to many bactrocera pest species. Insect Molecular Biology, 28(6), 873-886.
    DOI Scopus5 WoS5 Europe PMC3
    2018 Webber, D. L., Choo, A., Hewson, L. J., Trim, P. J., Snel, M. F., Hopwood, J. J., . . . O'Keefe, L. V. (2018). Neuronal-specific impairment of heparan sulfate degradation in Drosophila reveals pathogenic mechanisms for Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA. Experimental Neurology, 303, 38-47.
    DOI Scopus10 WoS10 Europe PMC6
    2017 Stevens, T., Song, S., Bruning, J., Choo, A., & Baxter, S. (2017). Expressing a moth abcc2 gene in transgenic Drosophila causes susceptibility to Bt Cry1Ac without requiring a cadherin-like protein receptor. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 80, 61-70.
    DOI Scopus31 WoS29 Europe PMC11
    2017 Choo, A., Crisp, P., Saint, R., O'Keefe, L., & Baxter, S. (2017). CRISPR/Cas9-mediated mutagenesis of the white gene in the tephritid pest Bactrocera tryoni. Journal of Applied Entomology, 142(1-2), 52-58.
    DOI Scopus21 WoS21 Europe PMC5
    2015 Richards, R., Choo, A., Lee, C., Dayan, S., & O Keefe, L. (2015). WWOX, the chromosomal fragile site FRA16D spanning gene: its role in metabolism and contribution to cancer. Experimental Biology and Medicine, 240(3), 338-344.
    DOI Scopus19 WoS18 Europe PMC15
    2015 O'Keefe, L., Lee, C., Choo, A., & Richards, R. (2015). Tumor suppressor WWOX contributes to the elimination of tumorigenic cells in drosophila melanogaster. PLoS One, 10(8), e0136356-1-e0136356-19.
    DOI Scopus13 WoS13 Europe PMC13
    2015 Choo, A., O'Keefe, L., Lee, C., Gregory, S., Shaukat, Z., Colella, A., . . . Richards, R. (2015). Tumor suppressor WWOX moderates the mitochondrial respiratory complex. Genes Chromosomes and Cancer, 54(12), 745-761.
    DOI Scopus16 WoS13 Europe PMC14
    2014 Shaukat, Z., Liu, D., Choo, A., Hussain, R., O'Keefe, L., Richards, R., . . . Gregory, S. (2014). Chromosomal instability causes sensitivity to metabolic stress. Oncogene, 34(31), 4044-4055.
    DOI Scopus24 WoS24 Europe PMC21
    2013 Dayan, S., O'Keefe, L., Choo, A., & Richards, R. (2013). Common chromosomal fragile site FRA16D tumor suppressor WWOX gene expression and metabolic reprograming in cells. Genes Chromosomes & Cancer, 52(9), 823-831.
    DOI Scopus18 WoS18 Europe PMC18
    2011 O'Keefe, L., Colella, A., De Barros Lopes, S., Chen, Q., Choo, A., Jacob, R., . . . Richards, R. (2011). Drosophila orthologue of WWOX, the chromosomal fragile site FRA16D tumour suppressor gene, functions in aerobic metabolism and regulates reactive oxygen species. Human Molecular Genetics, 20(3), 497-509.
    DOI Scopus39 WoS39 Europe PMC39

Horticultural Innovation Australia FF18002: Breeding a male-only strain of Queensland fruit fly (Partner Investigator, 2019-2022, $1,711,500) 

 Hermon Slade Foundation: Developing novel, cost efficient methods for controlling the invasive horticultural pest, Bactrocera tryoni (Queensland Fruit Fly) (Co-investigator, 2018-2020, $53, 272) 


Named project personnel on the following grants:

 Horticultural Innovation Australia FF17000: Sex selection genes from fruit fly species for use in SITplus (Project Personnel, 2018-2022, $4, 699,143)


  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2020 - ongoing Co-Supervisor Developing Bactrocera tryoni sexing strains using Sterile Insect Technique for pest control Macquarie University PhD Doctorate Full Time Ngoc Mai Han Nguyen
    2018 - ongoing Co-Supervisor Manipulating key developmental and regulatory pathways in the Queensland fruit fly to develop improved strategies for pest control University of Adelaide, University of Melbourne PhD Doctorate Full Time Zoey Nguyen
    2017 - 2017 Co-Supervisor Development of embryonic lethal temperature sensitive mutations for controlling the fruit fly Bactrocera tryoni using the Sterile Insect Technique University of Adelaide Master of Biotechnology (Biomedical Science) Master Full Time Zoey Nguyen
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2015 - ongoing Advisory Board Member SITPlus Technical Advisory Committee Australia
    2012 - 2013 Member Open Day Committee, School of Molecular and Biomedical Science, University of Adelaide Australia
    2012 - 2012 Representative School Research Symposium Committee, School of Molecular and Biomedical Science, University of Adelaide Australia
  • Position: Research Associate
  • Phone: 83137274
  • Email:
  • Campus: Waite
  • Building: Waite, floor 1
  • Room: S1 11a
  • Org Unit: School of Biological Sciences

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