Higher Degree by Research Candidate
School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Sciences
I am interested in the biology and genome of the Queensland fruit fly, with the aim to develop improved strategies for controlling this horticultural pest using the Sterile Insect Technique.
Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) is a species-specific biocontrol strategy where sterile males are released to seek and mate with wild females. Only infertile embryos are produced, causing a localised population collapse. This approach is currently helping control outbreaks of the horticultural pest Queensland fruit fly (Bactrocera tryoni), however, two ongoing problems for Qfly SIT are i) distinguishing sterile released males from fertile wild males and ii) separating sterile males from sterile females prior to release (only males are required).
This project aims to use CRISPR/Cas gene editing to develop new and efficient Queensland fruit fly strains for SIT. First, small deletions in genes involved with body pigmentation will be created to generate strains clearly distinguish from wild flies. Second, as only males are required for SIT, temperature sensitive mutations will be introduced to remove female flies from culture prior to sterilisation and SIT release. The production of improved Qfly SIT strains will increase efficiency of pest control and help reduce reliance on chemical pesticides.
Awards and Achievements
Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount 2018 Scholarship Adelaide Graduate Research Scholarship The University of Adelaide Australia — 2018 Award Faculty of Sciences Outstanding Academic Achievement Award The University of Adelaide Australia —
Date Institution name Country Title 2018 The University of Adelaide Australia PhD in Sciences 2016 - 2018 University of Adelaide Australia Master of Biotechnology (Biomedical) 2013 - 2015 University of The West of England United Kingdom BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science
Hermon Slade Foundation Grant 2018-2020 [Simon Baxter, Amanda Choo, Zoey Nguyen]
"Developing novel, cost efficient methods for controlling the invasive horticultural pest, Bactrocera tryoni (Queensland Fruit Fly)" Futher Information
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