Researchers are refining methods for applying gene-editing technology CRISPR/Cas9 in species of fruit flies, which could soon lead to useful advances in management of fruit fly pests like the sterile insect technique.
Determining the precise age of mass-reared fruit flies is a critical step in managing them in the wild via the sterile insect technique. Researchers in Mexico have applied machine-learning algorithms that can accurately measure the age of fruit fly pupae to properly time irradiation.
Releasing millions of sterile insects to interfere with a wild pest population won't work if irradiating the insects also hinders their flight capacity. A new study shows this may be the case with navel orangeworm moths (Amyelois transitella), and further fine-tuning will be necessary to build a successful sterile insect technique operation to manage the pest.
Collaboration and a combination of transgenic cotton and sterile insect releases helped to eradicate the invasive pink bollworm.