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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #283845

Research Project: Biologically-based Technologies for Management of Crop Insect Pests in Local and Areawide Programs

Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research

Title: Application of nuclear techniques to improve the mass production and management of fruit fly parasitoids

item Cancino, Jorge - Senasica
item Ruiz, Lia - Senasica
item Viscarret, Mariana - National Institute Of Agricultural Technology(INTA)
item Sivinski, John
item Hendricks, Jorge - International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

Submitted to: Insects
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/16/2012
Publication Date: 10/25/2012
Citation: Cancino, J., Ruiz, L., Viscarret, M., Sivinski, J.M., Hendricks, J. 2012. Application of nuclear techniques to improve the mass production and management of fruit fly parasitoids. Insects. 3:1105-1125.

Interpretive Summary: Fruit flies attack hundreds of fruits and vegetables and are responsible for trade restrictions wherever they occur. Augmentative parasitoid releases are a means of control but require additional handling which raises the costs involved. Scientists at the USDA-ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, Florida, in collaboration with colleagues from The International Atomic Energy Agency and the Mexican MOSCAMED program have developed means of irradiating fruit fly hosts prior to parasitism. As a result the fly is no longer able to grow and emerge as an adult but the natural enemy can complete development. This results in pure batches of parasitoids that can be released without the danger of also releasing fertile pests. It also facilitates the movement of parasitoids-in-their-hosts from facility to facility and allows hosts to be placed in the field in sentinel traps.

Technical Abstract: The use of irradiated hosts in the mass rearing of tephritid fruit fly parasitoids represents an important technical advance regarding application of augmentative biological control. Irradiation of hosts during the mass rearing process assures that fly emergence is avoided in non-parasitized hosts, while in parasitized hosts adult parasitoids with attributes similar to those emerging from non-irradiated hosts are obtained. Rearing different species of fruit fly parasitoids requires different doses of irradiation applied to different hosts. Parasitoids of fruit fly eggs, larvae and pupae have been shown to successfully develop in irradiated hosts, implying wide-ranging advantages for mass rearing effectiveness, while also allowing the rearing and shipment of parasitoids on factitious or quarantined hosts. Other advantages involve the development of packing technology and the shipment of parasitized pupae, rather than having to wait for fly emergence and their separation through costly procedures that affect parasitoid quality. Furthermore, by being able to ship pupae, delays are avoided and optimal shipment times can be selected. The wide variety of fruit fly parasitoid species available for augmentative releases represents a promising contribution to the integrated management of pest fruit flies, where irradiated hosts play an important role in facilitating biological control of these pests.