Australian scientists are on the lookout for energetic flies with… well, plenty of body hair. Yes, you read that right. Flies wanted with a lot of body hair to pollinate crops and help expand Australia’s fruit, vegetables and nut production.
Pollination is vital to the success of many fruit, nut and vegetable crops, with pollination-dependant crops in Australia worth almost $6 billion per year.
As part of a $5.7M research effort involving some of the nation’s leading researchers, fly pollination test sites have been set up on farms in Western Australia (Busselton and Gingin); Queensland (Mareeba, Dimbulah, Walkamin, Bundaberg); Tasmania; South Australia (Mt Gambier); and the Northern Territory (Darwin).
Miragenews.com explains how the project is being managed by Hort Innovation and is led by the Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), in collaboration with the University of Western Australia, Western Sydney University, University of New England, Seed Purity Pty Ltd and Biological Services.