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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wapato, Washington » Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #192046


item MAREC, F.
item Neven, Lisa
item FUCOVA, I.

Submitted to: IAEA-FAO Area Wide Insect Management Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/10/2007
Publication Date: 11/5/2007
Citation: Marec, F., Neven, L.G., Fucova, I. 2007. Developing transgenic sexing strains for the release of non-transgenic sterile male codling moth, Cydia pomonella. IAEA-FAO Area Wide Insect Management, Control of Insect Pests, Symposium Proceedings, 103-111.

Interpretive Summary: Codling moth is the key pest of apple and pear in the Pacific Norhtwest. A variety of methods are used to manage it and minimize crop losses. The sterile insect technique (SIT) is one method currently used to eradicate or suppress pest species, including the codling moth. SIT relies upon the mating of mass released sterile males with the incipient populations’ females. However, the release of only males from mass rearing facilities is very difficult due to inability or cost of separating the sexes. Traditionally sexing methodologies have relied on the development of genetic mutations to discern males from females. These methods use irradiation or chemicals to cause chromosomal translocations, and use at least two lines which must be maintained to create the sexing strain. Hence, these sexing methods can be very expensive and difficult to maintain and monitor in a mass rearing system. Recent research in insect transgenesis has led to the development of a plan to create genetic sexing lines in Lepidoptera. This plan details how transgenesis of the sex determining chromosome of female Lepidoptera, which is the heterogametic sex, can be targeted for transformation with a marker gene and a temperature sensitive dominant conditional lethal mutation. This paper explains the current technology for development of genetic sexing lines as well as this transgenic plan and how it can be used to improve SIT for Lepidoptera.

Technical Abstract: The Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) is currently being used for the control of many agricultural pests including some lepidopteran species. The SIT relies on the rearing and release of large numbers of genetically sterile insects into a wild population. The holokinetic chromosomes of Lepidoptera respond differently to radiation than do species where there is a localized centromere. This difference has enabled a variation of the SIT to be developed for Lepidoptera where a sub-sterilizing dose of radiation is given to the insects prior to their release with the result that a certain level of sterility is inherited by the F1 offspring. Both conventional SIT and radiation-induced inherited sterility (IS) would benefit if efficient ways could be found to release only males, and approach that has been demonstrated for some dipteran pest species. This paper outlines Mendelian approaches that are currently available to separate large numbers of males and females efficiently for different lepidopteran species and describes their difficulties and constraints. The fact that transgenesis can now be carried out in several lepidopteran species opens up new possibilities to develop genetic sexing strains. The proposal to develop genetic sexing strains described in this paper takes advantage of the fact that in Lepidoptera, the female is the heterogametic sex, with most species possessing a WZ sex chromosome pair, while the males are ZZ. This means that if a conditional lethal gene can be inserted into the W chromosome then all females should die following the application of the restrictive condition. The assumptions made to accommodate this model are discussed and the advantages to be gained for control programs elucidated.