Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Parasitic Horn Fly Serious Threat to Milk Production

Published: Monday, December 03, 2012
Last Updated: Monday, December 03, 2012
Bookmark and Share
Undergrad research project uses genetic techniques.

Kande Jones, a Molecular Biology major at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, TX, is using genetic techniques to improve control of the horn fly population. Whether interested in agriculture, entomology, microbiology, genetics, environmental conservation or education, this project extends into multiple fields.

Horn flies are a significant parasite throughout the South Central US and South America. They lay their eggs in cow manure and live off the blood of the cow as adults. As few as 30 flies can provide enough stress on the cow to affect milk production and calf weight gain. However, if pesticidal ear tags are used for insect control, it is recommended that you wait until at least 100 flies infect the animal before use, because the flies quickly develop resistance to the chemicals.

Wolbachia is a bacterium that naturally lives within many insects, including the horn flies, and affects reproductive success. There are multiple strains of Wolbachia and only adult flies that are infected by the same strain are able to produce viable offspring. If the adults are infected by different strains, or one is uninfected, they will only produce unfertilized eggs.

Under the direction of Dr. Xu, her molecular genetics and entomology professor, Kande is working with fellow students as part of the Horn Fly Research Project. The team hopes to develop a new strain of Wolbachia in the lab and introduce the new strain into a horn fly colony. This introduction of a new strain of bacteria will significantly increase the likelihood of unmatched adults producing nonviable eggs, greatly affecting population numbers.

This research is in conjunction with a USDA-funded project to determine the genetic basis for insecticide resistance in horn flies. To begin this new project, they need horn fly cell-lines in which to grow the Wolbachia strains. These cell-lines cost several thousand dollars and they need $1000 to get started.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Scientific News
Tardigrade's Are DNA Master Thieves
Tardigrades, nearly microscopic animals that can survive the harshest of environments, including outer space, hold the record for the animal that has the most foreign DNA.
GMO Food Animals Should be Judged by Product, Not Process
In a world with a burgeoning demand for meat, milk and eggs, regulatory policies around the use of biotechnologies in agriculture need to be based on the safety and attributes of those foods rather than on the methods used to produce them, says a UC Davis animal scientist.
Cancer-Fighting Tomato Component Traced
The metabolic pathway associated with lycopene, the bioactive red pigment found in tomatoes, has been traced by researchers at the University of Illinois.
TGAC Announces Milestone in Wheat Research
A more complete and accurate wheat genome assembly is being made available to researchers, by The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC) on 12 November 2015.
Shedding Light on the Origin of the Date Palm
Researchers also find ‘genetic mutation’ that is responsible for dates’ color.
New Way to Find DNA Damage
University of Utah chemists devised a new way to detect chemical damage to DNA that sometimes leads to genetic mutations responsible for many diseases, including various cancers and neurological disorders.
Speeding Up Potato Breeding
A joint project is investigating the potential of drones for speeding up the development of new potato varieties.
Gene Editing Could Enable Pig-To-Human Organ Transplant
The largest number of simultaneous gene edits ever accomplished in the genome could help bridge the gap between organ transplant scarcity and the countless patients who need them.
Ancestors of Land Plants Were Wired to Make the Leap to Shore
When the algal ancestor of modern land plants made the transition from aquatic environments to an inhospitable shore 450 million years ago, it changed the world by dramatically altering climate and setting the stage for the vast array of terrestrial life.
Photosynthesis Gene Could Help Crops Grow in Adverse Conditions
A gene that helps plants to remain healthy during times of stress has been identified by researchers at Oxford University.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos