Effect of chilling on sterile Q-fly quality

We would like to recommend the reading of the paper that Sushil Gaire and coauthors recently published in the Journal of Economic Entomology.

Read the publication

"Effect of chilling on quality control parameters of sterile Queensland fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae)"

Sushil K. Gaire, Md Jamil Hossain Biswas, Maurizio Benelli, Polychronis Rempoulakis, Phillip W. Taylor, Bishwo P. Mainali


Queensland fruit fly (Q-fly), Bactrocera tryoni (Froggatt), presents a major threat to Australian fruit production and trade. The sterile insect technique (SIT) is increasingly employed to manage Q-fly. Quality of sterile males released in SIT programs, and hence program efficacy, can be affected by pre- and post-production processes, such as mass rearing, packing, irradiation, transportation, and release. Given long distances from rear-out facilities to release sites, adult flies are usually chilled to reduce metabolism and stress during transportation. To guide SIT procedures, it is important to understand the impact of such practices on performance of sterile Q-fly. The present study assesses the effect of chilling temperature and exposure period on quality parameters of sterile Q-fly. We considered the effects of two temperature regimes (4 and 6°C) and six exposure periods (0, 1, 2, 4, 6, and 12 h) on chill-coma recovery time, flight ability, survival under nutritional stress, and longevity of both males and females. Flies chilled at 4°C took longer to recover than that those chilled at 6°C. Flight ability, survival under nutritional stress, and longevity all decreased as chilling period increased but did not differ between the two tested temperatures. We recommend that periods of chilling during transportation from rear-out facilities to release sites be minimized in order to retain quality of sterile Q-fly and that increased release rates be considered when longer chilling periods are required.

Photo: Sushil Gaire rearing fruit flies at Macquarie University.