Improved Quality Management of the Indian Meal Moth, Plodia interpunctella (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) for Enhanced Efficacy of the Sterile Insect Technique

M. M. Hasan, M. A. Hossain and C. G. Athanassiou,  Insects,  14. 2023.

The sterile insect technique (SIT) is considered an environmentally friendly, autocidal control tactic to manage insect pests. This work dealt with the improvement of quality management of the Indian meal moth Plodia interpunctella (Hübner) for enhanced efficacy of the SIT. The results indicated that egg hatching of irradiated mature eggs of P. interpunctella was higher than that of younger eggs, indicating that mature eggs were significantly more tolerant than younger eggs. Moreover, our data revealed that a dose of 500 Gy completely prevented pupal formation in irradiated young and mature larvae. Crosses between irradiated and non-irradiated adults resulted in considerable variations in fecundity. The mating competitiveness index (CI) value was higher for a ratio of 5:1:1 (sterile male, fertile male, and fertile female, respectively) as compared with the ratio 1:1:1 for the irradiated individuals of all life stages. Low temperature (5 °C) maintenance of irradiated pupae significantly affected adult emergence. Using cylinders to assess flight ability, we found that the flight performance of adults that were developed from cold treated irradiated pupae was influenced by cylinder diameter, cylinder height and the number of hours the insects were in the cylinders. The percentage of DNA damage of the reproductive organs of adults developed from cold treated pupae that were irradiated with 100 and 150 Gy varied significantly. The results of this study should be used to implement pilot-scale field tests aiming at a sterile- to-fertile male ratio of 5 to 1. © 2023 by the authors.

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