Colony Maintenance and Mass-Rearing: Using Cold Storage Technology for Extending the Shelf-Life of Insects
Implementation of area-wide pest control programmes using the sterile insect technique (SIT) is fundamentally dependant on the ability to rear large numbers of insects and to precisely release them, often at some distance from the production site. This process of producing purely biological agents for pest control frequently demands that periods of low temperature are utilized to store, stockpile or immobilize the insects to maintain quality and gain economy and effectiveness. Likewise, rearing and maintenance of often numerous laboratory colonies for the purpose of conducting research to develop and improve SIT programmes can also benefit from the use of this technology. Two approaches that can be used to maintain quality and to extend the utility of insects are cryopreservation and dormancy. Using either of these methods to extend the shelf-life of mass-reared or laboratory-cultured insects requires that they closely conform to the physiological and developmental capabilities and characteristics of a particular species. The technical aspects of this conformity are discussed, along with the advantages of using these two approaches for extending insect shelf-life. Both approaches have specific requirements for employment and both yield benefits relating to short- or long-term storage needs.
KEYWORDS cryopreservation, diapause, quiescence, shelf-life, dormancy, mass-rearing, in vitro fertilization
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