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Advances and Challenges of Using the Sterile Insect Technique for the Management of Pest Lepidoptera

1
Biology Centre, Czech Academy of Sciences, Institute of Entomology, Branišovská 31, 37005 České Budĕjovice, Czech Republic
2
Insect Pest Control Laboratory, Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, International Atomic Energy Agency, P.O. Box 100, 1400 Vienna, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2019, 10(11), 371; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10110371
Received: 30 September 2019 / Revised: 20 October 2019 / Accepted: 23 October 2019 / Published: 25 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) and Its Applications)
Over the past 30 years, the sterile insect technique (SIT) has become a regular component of area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM) programs against several major agricultural pests and vectors of severe diseases. The SIT-based programs have been especially successful against dipteran pests. However, the SIT applicability for controlling lepidopteran pests has been challenging, mainly due to their high resistance to the ionizing radiation that is used to induce sterility. Nevertheless, the results of extensive research and currently operating SIT programs show that most problems with the implementation of SIT against pest Lepidoptera have been successfully resolved. Here, we summarize the cytogenetic peculiarities of Lepidoptera that should be considered in the development and application of SIT for a particular pest species. We also discuss the high resistance of Lepidoptera to ionizing radiation, and present the principle of derived technology based on inherited sterility (IS). Furthermore, we present successful SIT/IS applications against five major lepidopteran pests, and summarize the results of research on the quality control of reared and released insects, which is of great importance for their field performance. In the light of new research findings, we also discuss options for the development of genetic sexing strains, which is a challenge to further improve the applicability of SIT/IS against selected lepidopteran pests. View Full-Text
Keywords: SIT; inherited sterility; moths; cytogenetics; pest control programs; quality control; genetic sexing SIT; inherited sterility; moths; cytogenetics; pest control programs; quality control; genetic sexing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Marec, F.; Vreysen, M.J.B. Advances and Challenges of Using the Sterile Insect Technique for the Management of Pest Lepidoptera. Insects 2019, 10, 371.

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