Research

Key achievements

Our goal is to carry out research which underpins the sustainable management of fruit fly pests, both in Australia and globally.  Internationally significant achievements  of the QUT Fruit Fly Group, stemming from our core research strengths, include.

  1. We were the first, in 2011, to propose the elevation of the subgenus Bactrocera (Zeugodacus) to generic status based on the results of molecular systematics.  That taxonomic elevation was subsequently made in 2015 by Virgilio and colleagues, and by 2018 has been generally accepted by the international fruit fly community with significant flow-on effects for all aspects of fruit fly management.
  2. In 2014, we were the first to identify that male lures are metabolism enhancers in fruit flies, starting a new research thrust in Australia and internationally on how these chemicals can be used as pre-release supplements to improve Bactrocera males mass-reared for the SIT.
  3. In 2015, former QUT Fruit fly Group research fellow Mark Schutze was the first of 49 multi-national authors on the paper which formally synonymized the Asian Papaya and African Invasive fruit flies with Oriental fruit flyThe recognition that these three major pest species were, in fact, all the same biological species, was almost instantly adopted by the global community with greatly increased sustainable pest management and international market access opportunities in Africa and Asia.
  4. In 2018 we published the first methodology for studying the epigenomes of tephritid fruit flies, opening a whole new avenue for leading-edge genomic research in these flies.
  5. We have added to international theory on herbivore host range with a series of review papers on different aspects of polyphagy

Major research areas