Researchers Develop Genetic Control Mechanism for Blowflies
Researchers from North Carolina State Univ. have developed a technique to control populations of the Australian sheep blowfly – a major livestock pest in Australia and New Zealand – by making female flies dependent upon a common antibiotic to survive.
Max Scott, professor of entomology at NC State, and his research team genetically modified lines of female Australian sheep blowflies (Lucilia cuprina) so that they required doses of tetracycline in order to live. Female blowflies that did not receive the antibiotic died in the late larval or pupal stages, before reaching adulthood. Several genetically modified lines lacking tetracycline showed 100 percent female deaths.