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Ongoing project

Sex determination of fruit fly pupa using near infrared spectroscopy (FF19000)

Key research provider: Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

What’s it all about?

This investment is developing a non-invasive rapid assessment technique to rapidly and consistently sort male and female Queensland fruit fly pupae using near infrared spectroscopy technology.

Implementation of an effective sterile insect program for fruit fly species Bactrocera tryoni requires that only sterile male insects be released, therefore at some stage of the fly production process the females need to be removed. Hand sexing is very labour intensive and current automated systems based on colour and size are not effective in differentiating between male and female pupae.

A non-destructive, rapid method of sex separation is required that does not impact on the viability of the pupae and which can be incorporated into a mass rearing system. Preliminary research conducted by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries has demonstrated that near infrared spectroscopy has great potential as an objective non-invasive method to sex B. tryoni pupae.

The implementation of this technology will enable sorting of male, female and non-viable B. tryoni pupae reducing SIT programs operational costs in sterilising both male and female pupae and increase the potential efficiency of the program by ensuring release of a larger number of sterile males.