Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Research helps target agricultural pests

Research conducted by Victoria University PhD graduand Joanne Wilson shines new light on a problem that costs the New Zealand agricultural industry an estimated $40 million annually.

Blowfly strike (cutaneous myiasis) is a major problem in New Zealand with the main costs associated with prevention of strike, these include labour costs for implementing management practises such as shearing, crutching and docking and the purchase of insecticidal treatments for sheep.

Significant production losses also occur due to death, loss of wool quality and reductions in live weight and the disease is also a major animal welfare issue. The development of resistance to insecticides by some blowfly species has exacerbated the problem further by reducing the protection period that some treatments can provide sheep.

Wilson’s thesis entitled Aspects of Insecticide resistance in New Zealand strains of the sheep blowflies Lucilia cuprina and Lucilia sericata, investigates the mechanisms leading to insecticide resistance in the two pests.

In 1990 Wilson was awarded a research fellowship by Young’s Animal Health Ltd to determine the level and distribution of resistance to insecticides in blowflies causing strike on sheep, the project was initiated by AgResearch, where much of the research was based. Wilson found resistance to be widespread throughout New Zealand in more than one species of blowfly.

Once she had identified the problem she expanded the project and in 1992 began a part-time PhD at Victoria University to investigate the biochemical mechanisms of insecticide resistance in blowflies. Wilson identified several mechanisms of resistance suggesting the problem and its management were complex.

Wilson’s thesis investigated ways in which this knowledge could be used for a more effective control of this pest species and her studies form a basis for addressing the problems of insecticide resistance in blowflies and will underpin further work in this area.

The projects economic importance has been recognised and funded for a number of years by The Foundation of Research Science and Technology. Wilson will be admitted to the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Victoria University's Science Faculty graduation ceremony on Tuesday 18 April, at 6.15pm at the Michael Fowler Centre.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Electricity Market: Power Panel Favours Scrapping Low-Fixed Charges

An independent panel reviewing electricity prices favours scrapping the government’s low-user fixed charge regime, banning the use of prompt-payment discounts, and requiring greater disclosure of the profit split between the retail and generation arms of the major power companies. More>>


Bottomless Oil And Zero Climate Cost: Greenpeace Not Big On PEPANZ Gas Ban Report

The NZIER report commissioned by oil industry body, PEPANZ, claims the oil and gas ban issued by the Government last April could cost the the New Zealand economy $28 billion by 2050... But Greenpeace says the figures in the report are based on false assumptions and alternative facts. More>>


Two Queensland Fruit Flies And A Different One In Otara: Devonport Fruit And Veg Lockdown

Work continues at pace on the biosecurity response following the discovery last week of one male Queensland fruit fly in a surveillance trap in the Auckland suburb of Devonport. More>>


Digital Services Tax: Government To Plan Tax On Web Operator Income

New Zealand is to consult on the design of changes to tax rules which currently allow multinational companies in the digital services field to do business here without paying income tax. More>>