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Evaluation of Lepidoptera population suppression by radiation induced sterility

Published: Thu, 18 Feb 2016, 15:16
Last updated: Thu, 18 Feb 2016, 16:58
This publication results from the second FAO/IAEA Research Co-ordination Project (CRP) on Inherited Sterility in Lepidoptera (caterpillars of moths). The present CRP and a previous one entitled “Radiation Induced F1 Sterility in Lepidoptera for Area-Wide Control” were initiated in response to requests from Member States for the development of environment friendly alternatives to current control of moth pests. The first five-year CRP (1987–1991) dealt primarily with aspects such as determining the effects of various radiation dose levels on the resulting sterility in the treated parents and their F1 progeny in different Lepidoptera species. In addition, models were developed on the suppressive effects of F1 sterility on field populations, and some studies were conducted in laboratory or field cages to assess the impact of inherited sterility on pest suppression. The research results were published in 1993 in the IAEA Panel Proceedings Series. This follow-up CRP (1994–1998) has built on the results of the first CRP and has focused on addressing a more challenging phase, consisting of rearing key pest moths and evaluating their application for pest control purposes. The specific objective of the CRP was therefore to assess the potential of suppressing populations of caterpillar pests in the field by inherited sterility methods, i.e. by rearing and releasing irradiated moths and/or their progeny in combination with other biological control methods. The ultimate goal is to have alternative environment-friendly control methods available to be able to reduce the vast quantities of insecticide that are used in agriculture to combat Lepidoptera pests and that adversely affect the trade balance of developing countries because they must use hard currency to import them. The two FAO/IAEA sponsored Lepidoptera CRPs have resulted in expanded research and implementation programmes on F1 sterility in combination with natural enemies. Such programmes are under way in Tunisia for suppression of the carob moth, Ectomyelois ceratoniae, and on the island of Mauritius for control of the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella. F1 sterility programmes for other Lepidopteran pest species also are being considered in other countries.
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Type of contact: Other
  • Advocacy
  • Pest information
  • Case study
  • Specific pest control manual
  • PRA
  • Inherited sterility

Evaluation of Lepidoptera Population Suppression by Radiation Induced Sterility.pdf