Manipulation of Gut Symbionts for Improving the Sterile Insect Technique: Quality Parameters of Bactrocera dorsalis (Diptera: Tephritidae) Genetic Sexing Strain Males After Feeding on Bacteria-Enriched Diets

Q. Zhang, P. Cai, B. Wang, X. Liu, J. Lin, R. Hua, H. Zhang, C. Yi, X. Song, Q. Ji, J. Yang and S. Chen,  Journal of Economic Entomology,  114:560-570. 2021.

One environmentally friendly method used to manage Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel), a key agricultural pest of substantial economic importance, is the sterile insect technique (SIT). Nevertheless, several deficiencies related to this strategy impair the success of the SIT, including the inferior performance of released sterile males compared with wild males, which could be partly solved by the utilization of gut symbionts as probiotic dietary components. In this study, a culture-dependent method was used to isolate and characterize gut-associated bacterial species in adult B. dorsalis genetic sexing strain (GSS) males. In addition, three bacterial isolates from the Enterobacteriaceae family, namely, Enterobacter sp., Morganella morganii, and Moellerella wisconsensis, were used as supplements in larval and adult diets to assess their effects on the life-history traits of irradiated males. Consistent with many previous studies, Enterobacter spp. was shown to be beneficial, with some quality control indices, such as adult size, pupal weight, survival rate under stress and nutritionally rich conditions, and mating competitiveness, being significantly increased, while slight nonsignificant increases in emergence rate and flight ability were observed. Conversely, the M. morganii and M. wisconsensis strains both had negative effects on irradiated male fitness and mating competitiveness. Our results, in combination with those of earlier studies, can contribute to improving the effectiveness of SIT application by enhancing the different aspects of augmentative rearing and biological traits of pests under laboratory rearing conditions.

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