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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: STERILE INSECT CONTROL OF INVASIVE PESTS, WITH A FOCUS ON MOTHS

Location: Crop Protection and Management Research

Title: Low-oxygen atmospheric treatment improves the performance of irradiation-sterilized male cactus moths used in SIT.

Authors
item Lopez-Martinez, Giancarlo -
item Carpenter, James
item Hight, Stephen
item Hahn, Daniel -

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 16, 2013
Publication Date: February 3, 2014
Citation: Lopez-Martinez, G., Carpenter, J.E., Hight, S.D., Hahn, D.A. 2014. Low-oxygen atmospheric treatment improves the performance of irradiation-sterilized male cactus moths used in SIT. Journal of Economic Entomology. 107(1):185-197.

Interpretive Summary: As part of Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) programs to control insect pests, irradiation can effectively induce sterility in insects. However, irradiation also induces other off-target side effects that reduce the quality and performance of sterilized males. Thus, treatments that reduce off-target effects of irradiation on male performance while maintaining sterility can improve the feasibility and economy of SIT programs. Exposure to ionizing radiation induces the formation of damaging free radicals in biological systems that may reduce sterile male performance. Here we test whether exposure to an anoxic (abnormally low amount of oxygen in the body tissues) environment for 1 hour prior to and during irradiation improves male performance while maintaining sterility in males of the cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum. We show that exposure to 1 hour of anoxia increases the moth’s antioxidant capacity and that irradiation in anoxia after 1 hour of anoxic conditioning decreases irradiation-induced oxidative damage to the moth’s lipids and proteins. Anoxia treatment that reduced oxidative damage after irradiation also produced moths with greater flight performance, mating success, and longevity, while maintaining F1 male sterility at acceptable levels for SIT. We conclude that anoxia pre-treatment followed by irradiation in anoxia is an efficient way to improve the quality of irradiated moths and perhaps lower the number of moths needed for release in cactus moth SIT operations.

Technical Abstract: As part of Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) programs, irradiation can effectively induce sterility in insects by damaging genomic DNA. However, irradiation also induces other off-target side effects that reduce the quality and performance of sterilized males. Thus, treatments that reduce off-target effects of irradiation on male performance while maintaining sterility can improve the feasibility and economy of SIT programs. Exposure to ionizing radiation induces the formation of damaging free radicals in biological systems that may reduce sterile male performance. Here we test whether exposure to an anoxic environment for 1 hour prior to and during irradiation improves male performance while maintaining sterility in males of the cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum. We show that exposure to 1 hour of anoxia increases the moth’s antioxidant capacity and that irradiation in anoxia after 1 hour of anoxic conditioning decreases irradiation-induced oxidative damage to the moth’s lipids and proteins. Anoxia treatment that reduced oxidative damage after irradiation also produced moths with greater flight performance, mating success, and longevity, while maintaining F1 male sterility at acceptable levels for SIT. We conclude that anoxia pre-treatment followed by irradiation in anoxia is an efficient way to improve the quality of irradiated moths and perhaps lower the number of moths needed for release in cactus moth SIT operations.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014
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