Improving the Efficacy of the Sterile Insect Technique for Fruit Flies by Incorporation of Hormone and Dietary Supplements into Adult Holding Protocols
The sterile insect technique (SIT) is a universally accepted method of control for tephritid flies. Improving efficacy of mating by sterile males would reduce costs significantly. This paper describes studies of the physiological mechanisms responsible for coordination of reproductive maturity and sex pheromone communication in males of the genus Anastrepha in order to develop methods for acceleration of reproductive maturity among sterilized males. These show that juvenile hormone III and its bisepoxide homologue are key hormones involved in coordination of reproductive development and pheromone-calling in both males and females. Additionally, incorporation of protein into the diet fed to sterile adults prior to release is critically important to improve pheromone calling, attraction of females and mating by sterile males. These results have led to development of a novel strategy to accelerate reproductive development of laboratory-reared sterile flies by incorporating hormone supplement therapy using mimics of juvenile hormone including methoprene and fenoxycarb and protein diets for use in mass-rearing protocols. This strategy resulted in accelerating reproductive development in males of the Mexican fruit fly Anastrepha ludens (Loew), the West Indian fruit fly Anastrepha obliqua (Macquart), the Caribbean fruit fly Anastrepha suspensa (Loew), and the Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) fruit flies by 3-7 days. Incorporating the technology into mass-rearing will significantly improve the efficacy of area-wide integrated pest management progammes with an SIT component to control these pests.
KEYWORDS Ceratitis capitata, Anastrepha ludens, Anastrepha obliqua, Anastrepha suspensa, juvenile hormone, protein diet supplements, sexual maturation, sexual signalling
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