June 23, 2024


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Creating a buzz around ‘fly farming’ – Information Centre – Research & Innovation

EU-funded scientists have shipped new understanding on the synthetic mass-rearing of particular species of flies. The results are notably well timed due to the fact European legislation not long ago opened the doorway for some farmed fly species to be employed as feed in the aquaculture sector.


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Flies are a critical element of the ecosystem – they supply meals for other animals, pollinate crops and recycle natural waste. The potential of these lowly but critical bugs has been recognised for some time and a range of species are presently being reared commercially.

Their use in Europe is growing soon after an EU Regulation was handed in 2017 allowing the use of insect proteins from numerous fly species – which includes the black soldier fly and housefly – as feed in aquaculture. Flies presently supply a protein supply in some pet foods and could soon be employed to feed poultry and pigs.

The EU-funded FLYHIGH venture has provided new understanding about the make-up and lifetime cycles of particular fly species. One particular vital undertaking was to discover the genetic diversity of reared and all-natural populations of the black soldier fly, which is a single of the most commercially critical bugs worldwide.

In their DNA

‘We carried out the most complete black soldier fly sampling that we are mindful of and employed the results to generate a complete library of mitochondrial DNA sequences linked to geographic facts,’ says Aino Juslén, venture coordinator based mostly at the College of Helsinki, Finland. ‘These effects will be critical to present and foreseeable future programmes for the synthetic rearing, variety and intense creation of the black soldier fly.’

The DNA sequences have been uploaded to the publicly accessible databases GenBank.

Furthermore, the FLYHIGH staff uncovered approaches to make improvements to rearing protocols for particular fly species. Scientists examined how aspects this kind of as temperature, humidity and diet regime can effect on fly advancement. As properly as the black soldier fly, the venture assessed rearing procedures for other artificially reared species, which includes the housefly and the eco-friendly bottle fly.

As a outcome, new larval feeding methods have been formulated and the overall performance of particular strains of fly species has been evaluated on various advancement mediums. The improved synthetic-rearing protocols for equally the housefly and eco-friendly bottle fly amplified maggot action and produced flies much more successfully and sustainably.

Highlight on species

Beneath laboratory circumstances, FLYHIGH also studied the lifetime cycle of flies with various positions in the meals chain, this kind of as hoverflies and blow flies, which includes their shut interactions with particular crops. The two species teams could have applications in all-natural ecosystems or agricultural environments as plant pollinators or to enable decompose natural waste.

‘We documented the certain needs for each and every studied species group to endure in synthetic-rearing circumstances and inevitably reproduce in captivity,’ clarifies Juslén.

The venture gathered facts for fly species distributed in Mediterranean ecosystems of South Africa and Europe. New host crops had been recorded for some species, this kind of as certain bulb crops like lilies and aloe succulent crops. The results disclosed that the amount of money of ingested pollen for fly survival assorted substantially amongst the studied species.

This venture was funded via the EU’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions programme which supports instruction of scientists and employees exchanges. The venture shipped an energetic timetable of understanding transfer via tutorial visits, instruction programs, fieldwork and scientific seminars.