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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Ecology, Genomics, and Management of Stored Product Insects

Location: Stored Product Insect and Engineering Research

Title: The case for a generic phytosanitary irradiation dose of 400 Gy for Lepidoptera that infest shipped commodities as pupae

item Hallman, Guy
item Parker, Andrew
item Blackburn, Carl

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/7/2013
Publication Date: 4/1/2013
Publication URL:
Citation: Hallman, G.J., Parker, A.G., Blackburn, C.M. 2013. The case for a generic phytosanitary irradiation dose of 400 Gy for Lepidoptera that infest shipped commodities as pupae. Journal of Economic Entomology. 106(2): 525-532. doi:

Interpretive Summary: Generic treatments are very useful in facilitating trade in agricultural commodities that may be quarantined because of invasive species. Generic treatments using ionizing radiation are broadly applicable because they are effective across a broad range of pests and tolerated by a broad range of fresh fruits and vegetables at the doses required to control the pests. This paper proposes a generic dose of 350 Gy for all pupae of Lepidoptera in all commodities and fills an important gap in the present use of irradiation for fresh fruits and vegetables.

Technical Abstract: A generic phytosanitary irradiation (PI) dose of 350 Gy is proposed for all Lepidoptera on all commodities. The measure of efficacy for this dose is prevention of egg hatch when late pupae are irradiated. Although the literature was thoroughly examined for relevant studies only those that could reasonably satisfy criteria of acceptable irradiation and evaluation methodology, proper age of pupae, and adequate presentation of raw data were accepted. Because eggs and larvae of insects are more radiosusceptible than pupae 350 Gy would be efficacious against all immature Lepidoptera. The recommendation is based on studies with 33 species in nine families. This dose will fill a major gap in the generic dose of 400 Gy for all Insecta except pupae and adult Lepidoptera that the USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection service has approved for commerce and would provide a valuable generic PI treatment for international acceptance through the International Plant Protection Convention.

Last Modified: 10/18/2017
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