Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/13/2007
Publication Date: 4/11/2008
Citation: Neven, L.G. 2008. Development of a model system for rapid assessment of insect mortality in heated controlled atmosphere quarantine treatments. Journal of Economic Entomology 101(2):295-301.
Interpretive Summary: Insects in or on a fresh horticultural commodity may pose a quarantine threat to an importing country. In order to attain and maintain a foreign market where these pests are a quarantine threat, a treatment to disinfest these commodities is required. Scientists at the USDA-ARS Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory have developed a disinfestation technology called CATTS (Controlled Atmosphere Temperature Treatment System). This system applies a short term high temperature treatment under a low oxygen, high carbon dioxide environment. Typically treatment development in this system required infesting the commodity with the species and stage to be tested, treating, and then cutting open the commodity to search for surviving and dead insects. This procedure is both expensive and time consuming. In order to expedite treatment development, scientists at USDA-ARS-YARL have developed an automated system to determine the effects of CATTS treatments without the expense of infesting and cutting produce. This system simulates CATTS treatments in the commodity and provides a good approximation of insect tolerance to the treatments. This system improves the speed at which new CATTS treatments can be developed to control insects in fresh horticultural products.
Technical Abstract: The development of postharvest quarantine treatments can be both expensive and time consuming. It is necessary to determine the species and stage of the pest most tolerant to the treatment, if more than one species is the target of the treatment. Initial laboratory studies often include infesting the commodity with various egg and larval stages of the pest and performing treatments and evaluations of the fruit. We have previously developed combination high temperature under controlled atmosphere treatments (CATTS) against two quarantine pests in apples, peaches and nectarines. We decided to develop an artificial system that can be used for these initial tests without the need for infesting large quantities of the fruits. We tested the system on the immature stages of the pests under regular air and controlled atmospheres using the controlled atmosphere water bath system (CAWB). This system can be used for rapid assessment of the most tolerant stage and species of a pest to CATTS without the expense of infesting, treating, and evaluating the commodity.