Odours produced by Merino sheep attract the blowfly, Lucilia cuprina, leading to flystrike. To identify the molecules involved, we developed a method for detecting when the fly antenna responds to odours, and a method for measuring the effect of those odours of fly behaviour. We found that octanal and nonanal attract L. cuprina and are also produced by Merino sheep, and that more dimethyl sulfone is produced by flystrike-resistant rams than flystrike-susceptible rams. Moreover, the abundance of all three odours is heritable in sheep, suggesting that they might be used in genetic selection for resistance to flystrike.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Award date||27 May 2020|
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2019|