The sterile insect technique (SIT) is an alternative, environmentally friendly method for controlling insect pests. In the Lepidoptera, a low dose of gamma irradiation causes inherited sterility (SIT-IS), leading to full sterility in females but only partial sterility in males, which successfully compete with wild males for mates. This study examined the effect of a low radiation dose (150 Gy) on the fitness parameters of male and female Lobesia botrana, a polyphagous and major pest of vineyards found in the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. RESULTS: Irradiation of the pupae did not affect their emergence rate, flight ability out of a cylinder, male response to sex pheromone in a field cage or male or female mating success. A major effect of irradiation was observed in the significantly reduced number of irradiated females' offspring reaching pupation, and as a consequence a limited number of F2 offspring. The effect of irradiation on male partial sterility (also called inherited sterility) was reflected in the male-biased sex ratio of F1 offspring of irradiated males, the reduced number of F1 offspring and the very low number of F2 descendants. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates the feasibility of controlling L. botrana using SIT-IS. Adding this method to the arsenal of environmentally friendly tools to control this pest may assist in further reducing the use of insecticides on edible crops.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2014 Society of Chemical Industry.
- Sterile insect technique
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science
- Agronomy and Crop Science