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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: DEVELOPMENT OF IRRADIATION TREATMENTS FOR HIGH IMPACT SPECIES

Location: Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The primary objective of this project is to assess the effects of ionizing radiation on invasive species including light brown apple moth and spotted winged drosophila.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
The artificial diet developed for pink bollworm will be used to rear light brown apple moths, and test insects will be treated in diet or in apples. Spotted wind drosophila will be reared on artificial diet or in blueberries. The goal is to find a dose that prevents reproduction, either by preventing development to the adult stage or sterilizing the adults or their progeny. Dose-response tests with all pest life stages will consist of five to eight doses at 30 to 50 Gy increments within a range from 60 to 250 Gy. In each test a control group will not be irradiated. Irradiation treatment will be conducted at a commercial x-ray facility. After irradiation, data will be taken on pupation, adult emergence and/or female fertility, and development of all individuals will be followed until death. Once doses that cause sterility or prevent adult emergence are identified for the most tolerant stage of each species, large-scale confirmatory tests will be conducted using naturally or artificially infested plant material.


3.Progress Report:

The goal for this project is to assess the effects of ionizing radiation on invasive species including light brown apple moth and spotted winged drosophila which contributes to objective 1 of the in-house project, "Develop new or improved postharvest treatments, including alternatives to methyl bromide, for tropical fruit, vegetable, and ornamental crop exports to ensure security against quarantine pests and to meet quarantine requirements of U.S. trading partners".

Postharvest irradiation can be used to control quarantine pests in traded commodities. Light brown apple moth, Epiphyas postvittana (LBAM) and spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii (SWD) are recent invasive pests introduced to California with the potential to spread widely in North America. A major concern with LBAM and SWD is trade restrictions on fruits and vegetables imposed by importing countries, such as Canada and Mexico. The LBAM fifth instar is the most radio-tolerant stage in fruit and a dose of 150 Gray units (Gy) was shown to provide quarantine control after treating 37, 947 insect with no survivors. The SWD late pupa is the most tolerant stage in fruit and dose-response studies suggest a dose of 80 Gy will sterilize the adult and provide quarantine control. Large-scale studies irradiating SWD on sweet cherries and grapes at 80 Gy are in underway, and thus far 11,890 pupae have been treated with no survivors.


Last Modified: 9/1/2014
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