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Methyl eugenol effects on Bactrocera dorsalis male total body protein, reproductive organs and ejaculate

Reyes‐Hernández, Martha, Thimmappa, Raghava, Abraham, Solana, Pagadala Damodaram, Kamala Jayanthi, Pérez‐Staples, Diana
Journal of applied entomology 2019 v.143 no.3 pp. 177-186
Bactrocera dorsalis, adults, diet, females, hydrolysates, males, mating competitiveness, methyl eugenol, protocols, spermatozoa, sterile insect technique, yeasts
Methyl eugenol (ME) and inclusion of protein into the adult diet increase the mating competitiveness of the Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel). Exposing males to ME or protein is a promising post‐teneral treatment for males being released in the sterile insect technique (SIT). However, the effect of this post‐teneral treatment on male reproductive organs or the male ejaculate is unknown. During mating, males transfer sperm and accessory gland products (AGPs) to females and these compounds are reported to modulate female sexual inhibition. We studied the impact of male exposure to ME and a yeast hydrolysate (YH) diet on the protein reserves of males, male reproductive organ size, and the male ejaculate through sperm and AGPs. We show that males exposed to ME regardless of access to YH accumulated a greater amount of whole body protein. Males fed on YH also had increased total body protein and had bigger reproductive organs than YH‐deprived males, but no apparent effect of ME exposure was observed on reproductive organ size. Females stored less sperm when mated with males fed on YH and ME compared to males not fed on ME. YH and ME had no effect on male AGPs. Females injected with AGPs of males fed on YH and exposed to ME were just as likely to mate as females injected with AGPs of non‐treated males. However, females injected with AGPs of males exposed to ME mated faster than females injected with AGPs of non‐exposed males. We conclude that while exposure to ME increases male copulatory success and protein reserves in the male body, there seem to be some potential trade‐offs such as lower sperm stored by females. We discuss our results in terms of pre‐release protocols that may be used for B. dorsalis in SIT application.