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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Sterile Insect Quality

item Calkins, C
item Parker, A

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/15/2004
Publication Date: 2/1/2005
Citation: Calkins, C.O., Parker, A.G. 2005. Sterile Insect Quality. pp. 269-296. In: Principles and Practice in Area-Wide Integrated Pest Management. V.A. Dyck, J. Headrichs and A.S. Robinson (eds.)

Interpretive Summary: The sterile insect technique (SIT) depends greatly on the production of good quality sterile male insects that are released into target wild populations. Quality is assured through a system of bioassays of quality parameters that reflect the insect's abiity to survive, interact with its environment, and locate, mate and fertilize females of the target population. The system was developed by compartmentalizing the essential survival and mating behaviours of the species involved, and then developing a series of tests to confirm that these behavioural traits are present in the mass-reared insects. The system also has a feedback loop to correct problems in the productin portion of the system before they become evident. Nevertheless, regular implementaion of field or field-cage tests under semi-natural conditions, where sterile males have to compete with wild males for wild females, is required to provide the ultimate assurance that the sterile insects have the ability to fulfill their mission after release.

Technical Abstract: This chapter discusses the history of the development of quality control tchnology, the principles and philosophy of assessing insect quality, and the relative importance of the various parameters used to assess insect quality in the context of mass-rearing for the SIT. Quality control is most developed for various fruit fly species (FAO/IAEA/USDA 2003), and therefore much of the discussion will be in that context. Quality control in rearing biological control organisms is beyond the scope of this chapter, and will not be addressed.

Last Modified: 06/28/2017
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