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Effects of X-Ray Irradiation on Male Navel Orangeworm Moths (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) on Mating, Fecundity, Fertility, and Inherited Sterility

Douglas M. Light, Inna Ovchinnikova, Eric S. Jackson, Ronald P. Haff
Journal of economic entomology 2015 v.108 no.5 pp. 2200-2212
Amyelois transitella, X-radiation, adults, dose response, eclosion, eggs, embryogenesis, fecundity, females, irradiation, male fertility, males, mating frequency, moths, progeny, sterile insect technique
Male adult navel orangeworm, Amyelois transitella (Walker), were irradiated using a laboratory scale x-ray irradiation unit to determine the required dose for complete egg sterility of mated female moths and inherited sterility of F1 and F2 generations. Adult male A. transitella were irradiated in two separate experiments at 100–300 Gy and 50–175 Gy. Mating frequency, fecundity, and fertility of normal females crossed with irradiated parental males was compared with the mating of nonirradiated moths. Mating frequency was 100% for females crossed with nonirradiated control males. At male treatment doses of ≥150 Gy the percentage of females found unmated increased, while multiple-mated females decreased. Female fecundity was not affected while fertility was affected in a dose-dependent relationship to exposure of parental males to x-ray irradiation. Embryonic development of eggs to the prehatch stage and egg eclosion did not occur at radiation doses ≥125 Gy. Emergence of F1 adults was low and occurred only for progeny of parental males exposed to doses ≤100 Gy, with no emergence at ≥125 Gy. Though fecundity appeared similar for control and irradiated F1 females, no F2 eggs hatched for the test exposures of 50–100 Gy. Based on our results, a dose of ≥125 Gy had efficacy in inducing both primary parental sterility in treated male moths and inherited sterility in F1 male and female moths. Results suggest that A. transitella might be considered a candidate for the sterile insect technique using adults irradiated at these relatively low x-ray exposure doses.