April 18, 2024

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

EU-funded scientists have shipped new understanding on the artificial mass-rearing of specific species of flies. The findings are significantly timely because European legislation lately opened the door for some farmed fly species to be employed as feed in the aquaculture sector.


© Sergio Yoneda #235299032, source:inventory.adobe.com 2020

Flies are a vital section of the ecosystem – they present food items for other animals, pollinate plants and recycle organic and natural squander. The possible of these lowly but vital bugs has been identified for some time and a range of species are already getting reared commercially.

Their use in Europe is expanding just after an EU Regulation was passed in 2017 allowing the use of insect proteins from various fly species – which include the black soldier fly and housefly – as feed in aquaculture. Flies already present a protein source in some pet meals and could soon be employed to feed poultry and pigs.

The EU-funded FLYHIGH project has supplied new understanding about the make-up and everyday living cycles of specific fly species. One essential task was to discover the genetic range of reared and normal populations of the black soldier fly, which is a single of the most commercially important bugs all over the world.

In their DNA

‘We carried out the most detailed black soldier fly sampling that we are knowledgeable of and employed the findings to deliver a detailed library of mitochondrial DNA sequences connected to geographic information,’ suggests Aino Juslén, project coordinator primarily based at the University of Helsinki, Finland. ‘These outcomes will be important to existing and future programmes for the artificial rearing, selection and intensive output of the black soldier fly.’

The DNA sequences have been uploaded to the publicly obtainable database GenBank.

Furthermore, the FLYHIGH staff uncovered ways to enhance rearing protocols for specific fly species. Researchers examined how elements these kinds of as temperature, humidity and food plan can influence on fly expansion. As properly as the black soldier fly, the project assessed rearing procedures for other artificially reared species, which include the housefly and the eco-friendly bottle fly.

As a outcome, new larval feeding procedures have been developed and the performance of specific strains of fly species has been evaluated on various expansion mediums. The improved artificial-rearing protocols for each the housefly and eco-friendly bottle fly elevated maggot activity and made flies extra efficiently and sustainably.

Highlight on species

Beneath laboratory conditions, FLYHIGH also researched the everyday living cycle of flies with various positions in the food items chain, these kinds of as hoverflies and blow flies, which include their close interactions with specific plants. Both of those species teams could have apps in normal ecosystems or agricultural environments as plant pollinators or to aid decompose organic and natural squander.

‘We documented the specific demands for each researched species team to survive in artificial-rearing conditions and sooner or later reproduce in captivity,’ points out Juslén.

The project gathered information for fly species distributed in Mediterranean ecosystems of South Africa and Europe. New host plants were being recorded for some species, these kinds of as specific bulb plants like lilies and aloe succulent plants. The findings discovered that the amount of money of ingested pollen for fly survival diversified considerably amid the researched species.

This project was funded as a result of the EU’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions programme which supports coaching of scientists and personnel exchanges. The project shipped an energetic program of understanding transfer as a result of tutorial visits, coaching courses, fieldwork and scientific seminars.