Gamma irradiation of the western cherry fruit fly for the sterile male control technique Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/kh04dt46t

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  • The western cherry fruit fly, Rhagoletis indifferens Curran, was studied to determine the suitability of the sterile insect technique for its control. To obtain insect material, field collection of maggots is preferred to sifting of soil or rearing on artificial diet. The western cherry fruit fly is strictly univoltine; only 1.1 per cent adult emergence occurred without chilling under laboratory conditions at 26.7° C and photoperiod of 19L:5D. Per cent emergence increased with longer periods of chilling. Synchronization of emergence was maximized after about 200 days at 3° C. Time to emergence decreased with increasing days of chilling; after a minimum of 200 days of chilling at 3° C, flies emerged after an average of 26 days at 26.7° C. Flies exhibited a pre-mating and pre-oviposition period in the laboratory, during which flies spent little time on cherries. The presence of a male pheromone was demonstrated. The number of eggs laid under laboratory conditions ranged from 0 to 325 and averaged 62 per female. A reduction in egg hatch of about 99 per cent occurred when females were mated to males that had been exposed to 8 krad of Co-60 gamma irradiation as 1-3 day-old adults. Longevity of male flies decreased significantly with increasing doses of irradiation. Females were more sensitive to irradiation than males: they were infecund after a dose of 5 krad or more. The longevity of females was only slightly reduced by irradiation as high as 16 krad. By screening, pupae can be separated into groups that are about 75 per cent male, and 90 per cent female; but females can be released with males if flies are irradiated as 1-3 day-old adults. Sterile males were more competitive in ratios of 1:1 and 4:1 than 8:1 in laboratory cages: the total number of matings was about the same with 8:1 ratios as with 4:1. Females were less receptive to males after several matings, so that with a constant number of females, the number of matings by unirradiated males was reduced in the presence of sterile males. Irradiated males mated about 80 per cent as frequently as normal males. Males irradiated as pupae were less than half as competitive as males irradiated as adults. Sperm from the last-mated male had precedence, but some mixing of the sperm occurred. Field cage studies showed about 94 per cent reduction in infestation with 2011 sterile to normal male ratios. The low economic threshold, the small dispersal capability, and favorable radiobiology of the flies make this insect an attractive candidate for the sterile insect technique. The technique may be used alone, or in an integrated control program in combination with chemicals. Post-harvest release of flies would efficiently prevent build-up of the population in the remnant of cherries left after mechanical harvesting.
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