Genetically modified fruit fly trial in WA


A genetically modified fruit fly that could reduce populations of the crop-nibbling pests will be trialled indoors in Western Australia next year.

The WA Department of Agriculture and Food announced on Tuesday it would conduct a glasshouse assessment of a Mediterranean fruit fly that has a self-limiting gene preventing female offspring from reaching adulthood so they can't sting fruit or reproduce.

The modified flies have already been trialled in lab conditions and approved for outdoor trials in Brazil.

"Releases have only been undertaken so far in cage environments and it can be difficult to extrapolate results from cage studies to the field situation where the environment is very different," University of Melbourne Professor Ary Hoffmann said.