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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Bloem, Stephanie
item Carpenter, James
item Marec, Frantisek
item Bloem, Ken

Submitted to: Entomology International Congress Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/30/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Bloem, S., Carpenter, J.E., Marec, F., Bloem, K.A. 2000. Successfully managing lepidopteran pests with genetic methods: the future is now [abstract]. Proceedings of XXI International Congress of Entomology. p.562.

Interpretive Summary: No interpretive summary required.

Technical Abstract: Genetic pest suppression is unique among biological control methods in that it involves the release of genetically modified insects to control the same species. These methods are unparalleled in their specificity and safety because only the target-species is affected. Lepidopterans are the most important pests of many major crops, forests and stored products. Safe and pest specific control tactics against these ubiquitous pests are constantly being sought. Three genetic methods have been developed and field-tested against Lepidoptera, and of these, radiation-induced inherited sterility (or F1 sterility) is considered to be the most promising. F1 sterility can be readily combined with other biological controls such as pheromone mating disruption and natural enemies. In the application of F1 sterility the radiation dose is lowered so that the released insects are partially sterile or adjusted so that the females are completely sterile and the males partially sterile. The radiation-induced deleterious effect are inherited for 1 or more generations. As such, releasing partially sterilized insects offers far greater suppressive potential than using fully sterile insects. The genetic basis of F1 sterility in Lepidoptera will be discussed and the advantages of this genetic control method will be illustrated using examples from both perennial (apples and dates) and annual (corn and cole crops) cropping systems. In the face of growing concerns surrounding the use of genetically modified crops, the presence of pesticide residues on exportable commodities, the development of pesticide resistance, the U.S. Food Quality and Protection Act, and environmental, ground water and worker safety issues we argue that now is the time to increase our commitment to the genetic methods in controlling Lepidoptera.

Last Modified: 08/15/2017
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