Impact of mass rearing and gamma irradiation on thermal tolerance of Eldana saccharina
Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Agricultural Research Council - Plant Protection Research Institute (ARC-PPRI), Private Bag X5017, Vredenburg Campus, Stellenbosch, South Africa; Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology, Faculty of AgriSciences, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland, South Africa; South African Sugarcane Research Institute, 170 Flanders Drive, Mt Edgecombe, Durban, South Africa
Mating ability, survival, and fitness of mass-produced sterile insects when released into the wild, are critical to the success of the sterile insect technique (SIT) as a pest management strategy, but their field performance remains one of the greatest challenges. Thermal stress tolerance by irradiated insects is a determinant of sterile insect quality, hence knowledge of their physiological competitiveness is essential for developing the SIT. Here, we report the results of experiments investigating effects of laboratory rearing and increasing radiation dosage on thermal limits to activity of the adult stage of Eldana saccharina Walker (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). The critical thermal maximum (CTmax) and critical thermal minimum (CTmin) were assayed using a dynamic method on both sexes of E. saccharina moths in laboratory vs. wild populations (to determine effect of rearing history). Furthermore, the laboratory population was exposed to 150, 200, and 250 Gy, to determine the effect of radiation dose. Laboratory-reared E. saccharina were more heat tolerant compared to wild moths for both sexes (CTmax = 44.5 vs. 44.3 °C), whereas in the case of CTmin (3.7 vs. 4.4 °C), wild moths were more cold tolerant than their laboratory-reared counterparts. Irradiation had a negative effect on both CTmax and CTmin. Moths treated at the lowest radiation dose were more cold and heat tolerant than those treated at the highest dosages (CTmin = 4.5 vs. 6.2 °C; CTmax = 43.9 vs. 43.5 °C), thereby reinforcing the importance of lower dosages rather than those that induce full sterility against E. saccharina. In general, sex had no influence on critical thermal limits in all moth treatments except for those irradiated at 150 Gy. The data presented in this article provide evidence that increasing radiation dose impacts on fitness of laboratory-produced moths relative to their wild counterparts, which in turn could affect the effectiveness of the SIT programme. © 2014 The Netherlands Entomological Society.
Eldana saccharina; Hexapoda; Lepidoptera; Pyralidae; Saccharina