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Historical document

Sequencing the genome of the Queensland fruit fly (CT10033)

Key research provider: University of New South Wales (UNSW)
Publication date: November, 2011

This is a final research report from Hort Innovation’s historical archives. Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.

What was it all about?

Queensland fruit fly (Q-fly) was the most widespread pest of horticulture in Australia. To control Q-fly, industry used essentially the same pheromone lures and spray techniques that were used in the 1960s. The industry needed new research tools if they were to develop new and effective biosecurity tests, better lures and targeted chemical control.

To propel Q-fly research into the 21st Century, Hort Innovation (which was then Horticulture Australia Limited) provided start-up funding for researchers at the University of NSW to start sequencing the complete genome of the Q-fly. Using state-of-the-art sequencing technology, a first assembly of the genome had already been produced. That assembly of over 400 million base pairs of DNA had been shown to be largely complete.

When this report was published, that genome assembly was being refined and further completed. At the time researchers were working on cataloguing all the Q-fly genes and were investigating distinctive features of the Q-fly genome. Once this work was complete in 2012, the genome would be made publicly available. Researchers Australia-wide were able to look for genetic regions involved in any aspect of Q-fly biology including, for example, lure responses. However, the first outcome was likely to be vastly improved biosecurity tests that could rapidly identify different local and exotic species at the larval stage.


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Funding statement:
This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) with the voluntary financial support of the citrus industry.

Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2011. The Final Research Report (in part or as whole) cannot be reproduced, published, communicated or adapted without the prior written consent of Hort Innovation (except as may be permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)).