The use of pheromones, gene silencing, population modelling and future gene drives are all showing promise when it comes to bringing Aotearoa's invasive wasp problem under control.

Researchers involved with a BioHeritage project led by Professor Phil Lester presented their work at a wasp workshop in Wellington and these technologies were thought to have considerable promise, says Phil.

“About 40 people from organisations including regional councils, the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Department of Conservation were at the workshop and the general feeling was that these technologies should be further developed. The feedback from stakeholders was very positive.”

A key focus of this research project is to sequence the genomes of the common and German wasp. Understanding wasps’ genes and how they work will help develop new genetic tools to control them, he says.

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