Read the latest publication of Dr Saleh Adnan.
Methoprene supplements added to diets of yeast hydrolysate and sugar promote early expression of sexual behaviour and mating in male Queensland fruit fly (Bactrocera tryoni; ‘Q-fly’) and show promise as a pre-release treatment for sterile insect technique programs. Currently it is not known whether the early mating behaviour of methoprene-treated male Q-flies is only behavioural or is coupled with accelerated development of reproductive organs. Accordingly, the present study investigates whether incorporation of methoprene into diets of yeast hydrolysate and sugar (1:3) or sugar alone, accelerate development of testes, ejaculatory apodeme, and accessory glands in male Q-flies and ovaries in females. All organs increased in size as the flies aged and matured, and development rate of all organs was far greater when the flies were provided yeast hydrolysate in addition to sugar. Incorporation of methoprene into diets containing yeast hydrolysate was found to strongly accelerate development of testes and ejaculatory apodeme, but not accessory glands, in males. In the absence of yeast hydrolysate, methoprene treatment had only a modest effect on male organ development. In contrast to males, development of ovaries in female Q-flies did not respond to dietary methoprene supplements, regardless of whether they were fed yeast hydrolysate and sugar or sugar alone. These findings of diet-dependent effects of methoprene supplements on reproductive organs are a close match to previous studies investigating effects of methoprene supplements on mating behaviour. Overall, methoprene supplements substantially enhance the positive effects of protein rich adult diet on the early expression of sexual behaviour and accelerate development of reproductive organs in male, but not female, Q-flies. Methoprene supplements added to pre-release diets of yeast hydrolysate and sugar show promise as a means of accelerating reproductive development of Q-flies released in sterile insect technique programs, and may also bias operational sex ratio in favour of males.
Photo: Dr Saleh Adnan, Research Officer at Applied BioSciences, Macquarie University.