Evaluation of quality production parameters and mating behavior of novel genetic sexing strains of the Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Tephritidae)

Polychronis Rempoulakis, Gustavo Taret, Ihsan Ul Haq, Viwat Wornayporn, Sohel Ahmad, Ulysses Sto Tomas, Thilakasiri Dammalage, Keke Gembinsky, Gerald Franz, Carlos Caceres, Marc J B Vreysen

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    The Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Tephritidae) is one of the most important pest of fruits and vegetables in tropical and subtropical countries. The sterile insect technique (SIT) as a component of area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM) approaches is being used for the successful management of this pest. VIENNA 8 is a genetic sexing strain (GSS) that has a white pupae (wp) and temperature sensitive lethal (tsl) mutation, the latter killing all female embryos when eggs are exposed to high temperatures (34°C). The use of this GSS permits production and the release of only males which has increased the cost effectiveness of the SIT several fold for this pest. An efficient method of identification of recaptured sterile males can further increase the cost effectiveness of the SIT for this pest. Therefore, VIENNA 8-Sergeant2 (Sr2) strain and the transgenic strain VIENNA 8-1260 having visible markers were constructed. All three strains were evaluated for egg production, egg hatch, and egg sterility parameters under semi mass-rearing conditions and mating competitiveness in field cages. VIENNA 8-1260 females produced significantly fewer eggs as compared with the two other strains, which produced similar numbers of eggs. However, egg hatch of all strains was similar. Egg hatch of eggs produced by untreated females that had mated with adult males that had been irradiated with 100 Gy as pupae 2 days before emergence, was different for the three strains, i.e., egg hatch of 0.63%, 0.77%, 0.89% for VIENNA 8, VIENNA 8-1260, and VIENNA 8-Sr2, respectively. Differences in male mating competitiveness of the three strains against wild-type males were gradually reduced with successive generations under semi mass-rearing conditions. However, VIENNA 8 males adapted faster to laboratory conditions as compared with VIENNA 8- Sr2 and VIENNA 8-1260 males with respect to mating competitiveness. VIENNA 8 males of the F10 generation were equally competitive with wild-type males, whereas the mating competitiveness of VIENNA 8-Sr2 and VIENNA 8-1260 males was similar but lower as compared with wild-type males. Males from all three strains copulated earlier than wild-type males. Results are discussed in relation with the potential benefits of incorporating novel strains for more effective SIT application.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere0157679
    Pages (from-to)1-14
    Number of pages14
    JournalPLoS ONE
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2016

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    Copyright the Author(s) 2016. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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