Radiation biology and inherited sterility of light brown apple moth (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae): Developing a sterile insect release program

Rajendra Soopaya, Lloyd D. Stringer*, Bill Woods, Andrea E A Stephens, Ruth C. Butler, Ian Lacey, Amandip Kaur, David M. Suckling

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    26 Citations (Scopus)


    The radiation biology of two geographically isolated populations of the light brown apple moth [Epiphyas postvittana (Walker)] was studied in Australia and New Zealand as an initiation of a SIT/F 1 sterility program. Pharate and ≤2 d pre-emergence pupae were exposed to increasing radiation doses up to a maximum dose of 300 Gy. Fertility and other life history parameters were measured in emerging adults (parental) and their progeny (F1F3 adults). Parental fecundity was significantly affected by increasing irradiation dose in pharate pupae only. For both populations, parental egg fertility declined with increasing radiation. This was most pronounced for the irradiated parental females whose fertility declined at a higher rate than of irradiated males. At 250 Gy, females ≤2 d preemergence pupae produced few larvae and no adults at F1. No larvae hatched from 250 Gy-irradiated female pharate pupae. At 300 Gy, males still had residual fertility of 25.5%, with pharate pupae being the more radio-sensitive. Radiation-induced deleterious inherited effects in offspring from irradiated males were expressed as increased developmental time in F1 larvae, a reduction in percent F1 female survival, decreased adult emergence and increased cumulative mortality over subsequent generations. Males irradiated at ≥150 Gy produced few but highly sterile offspring at F1 and mortality was >99% by F2 egg.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1999-2008
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of economic entomology
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


    • Epiphyas postvittana
    • eradication
    • inherited sterility
    • irradiation
    • sterile insect technique


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