An international team of scientists have combined their expertise to complete the whole genome sequence of the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata. This insect pest attacks more than 260 fruit, vegetable and nut crops worldwide, including Europe and Australia, causing billions of dollars annually in direct harm, export sanctions, lost markets as well as treatment and prevention expenses. Reported in Genome Biology, researchers now have an edge in understanding how this insect’s genetics enable it to be such a successful invasive pest. Genes control many important traits such as its ability to reproduce, withstand pathogens, find host plants, and break down environmental toxins.
Deane Woruba from the Western Sydney University introduces the concept of probiotics, fitness, microbiomes and how his PhD research is helping farmers manage a terrible insect pest (Tephritid fruit flies such as the Queensland fruit fly).
Dr Thomas Jeffries from the Western Sydney University introduces the concept of metagenomics, microbiomes and how such research can help understanding human health and climate change.
Dr Alex Watson-Lazowski, a Western Sydney University post-doctoral research fellow, talk to us about photosynthesis and carbon concentrating plants that have adapted to hot and arid climates!
Western Sydney University research lecturer Dr Yolima Carrillo talks about soil and explains what a rhizosphere is and how it affects not only our crops but also our climate!
Robert Mueller, a Western Sydney University doctoral researcher, talks about how a beetle species is an expert farmer: a fungal garden kept disease free with organic pesticides!
Western Sydney University doctoral researcher Bronwen Roy studies the viruses found in bees. But what is a bee for an Australian scientist?
Western Sydney University researcher and DECRA Fellow Dr Jonathan Plett is explaining what the word “symbiosis” means for him.
Last week, Kaitao and Alexie went to the NSW Bioinformatics Research Symposium (#sbrs16) co-organised by our nascent society ABACBS (pronounced like an abacus), Joshua Ho, Aaron Darling and others. Held at the impressive Charles Perkins institute of USyd, we had an awesome turnout of more than 150 people with excellent diversity in terms of gender
Congratulations to Mike Kanost (Kansas State University) and Gary Blissard (Cornell University) who spearheaded our large, international, collaborative project on decyphering the DNA of the tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta)! Manduca is not only an important pest insect of Solanaceae plants (tomatoes, tobacco etc), evolved a number of cool adaptations (e.g. it can happily munch on nicotine-filled leaves)