The Queensland fruit fly (Bactrocera tryoni) is a polyphagous horticultural
pest in Australia capable of causing significant damage to different fruits
and vegetables. Chemical applications and ecological control strategies,
such as the sterile insect technique (SIT), are commonly used to control the
population of this insect pest and prevent invasive outbreaks.
The recently published B. tryoni draft genome provides new opportunities to
identify candidate genes for targeted genome modification to develop
advanced strains for management using sterile insect strategies. To test its
applicability, Amanda Choo and her colleagues used CRISPR-Cas9$B!>(Bmediated
mutagenesis on Queensland fruit fly. They were successful in generating
mutations in the ATP$B!>(Bdependent binding cassette transporter gene, white,
resulting in fruit flies with a white-eye phenotype.
This study demonstrates CRISPR's potential for developing genetic strains
which could be used for SIT$B!>(Bbased pest control.