The New South Wales Department of Primary Industries is leading a new Hort Innovation-funded project that will develop accurate, cost-effective surveillance tools that can be used to monitor insecticide resistance in serpentine leafminer (SLM).

With the knowledge generated by AS20002 – Management of insecticide resistance in serpentine leafminer (Liriomyza huidobrensis) – a sustainable integrated pest management approach for the pest can be established with the aim to reduce the impact of serpentine leafminer in horticultural crops.

Serpentine leafminer is a newly introduced exotic pest to Australia with the potential to seriously damage Australian horticultural nursery and vegetable industries including onion, potato and sweetpotato. The pest is controlled by insecticides, but at present nothing is known about chemical efficacy or potential insecticide resistance.

The research team will begin by establishing baseline resistance data from at least three strains of serpentine leafminer collected from NSW and Queensland.

This is the first tool for resistance detection when resistance mutations are unknown. Next, populations of serpentine leafminer from Queensland will be included into the resistance testing and field trials against dimethoate, imidacloprid and spirotetramat will be undertaken.

At the same time, whole genome sequencing of serpentine leafminer will be carried out as the crucial first step towards a complementary DNA-based resistance detection capability for the pest. The research team will use cutting edge genomic methodology to build a serpentine leafminer genome for use by Australian researchers.

The project is expected to be completed by June 2024.

This investment will work closely with the project Management strategy for serpentine leafminer, Liriomyza huidobrensis (MT20005).

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