Comparing Rearing Efficiency and Competitiveness of Sterile Male Strains Produced by Genetic, Transgenic or Symbiont-based Technologies

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Project Type

Coordinated Research Project

Project Code

D42016

CRP

2046

Approved Date

2014/05/29

Status

3 - Active - Ongoing

Start Date

2015/02/06

Expected End Date

2020/02/06

Participating Countries

Argentina
Australia
Brazil
China
Germany
Greece
Guatemala
India
Italy
Mexico
Panama
Thailand
United States of America

Description

The application of the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) in area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM) programmes continues to increase in response to requests from Member States. However, programme efficiency can still be considerably enhanced when certain components of the technology are improved, such as the strains used to mass-produce sterile males, which are the key component of SIT programmes. They can be produced by classical and modern biotechnology approaches and strains producing such males are now available for key insect pests. The pests targeted for SIT applications include species of agricultural, veterinary and medical importance such as the Mexican fruit fly, the oriental fruit fly, the codling moth, the pink bollworm, the screwworm as well as disease transmitting mosquitoes. This CRP will focus on comparing the performance of strains developed or improved by classical genetic, transgenic and symbiont-based approaches to a level where a decision can be made as to their suitability to produce high-quality sterile males for use in large scale SIT programmes. Major beneficiaries will be operational AW-IPM programmes in MS that apply the SIT against these major insect pests. By the end of the CRP several strains, including strains for new target species, producing high quality sterile males will be available with the following tangible benefits for pest control programmes in MS using SIT: 1.) As only the males are needed for the SIT, the production, handling and release costs can be reduced significantly if sexing strains are used.2.) The efficacy, sustainability and the cost of SIT programmes depends on the performance of released sterile males. The availability of strains producing high quality sterile males will increase the efficiency and will decrease the cost of SIT programmes. 3.) A considerable proportion of the cost of SIT programmes is used for monitoring sterile insects in the field and therefore a stable, fail proof genetic marking system for the released flies will reduce costs considerably.4.) Male-only releases are several-fold more efficient than releases of both sexes and are mandatory for disease transmitting insect species such as mosquitoes. Consequently, when the genetic sexing technology is available, SIT programmes are significantly more efficient, safe and cost effective.5.) As horizontal transfer phenomena are of major ecological concern, strains producing males by transgenic or symbiont-based approaches for SIT applications will be assessed.

Objectives

The overall objective of this CRP is to compare the performance of sterile males produced by classical genetic, transgenic or symbiont-based technologies to address the increasing demand for environment-friendly and sustainable integrated pest management approaches for insect pests of agricultural, veterinary or medical importance.

Specific objectives

To comparatively evaluate the performance of sterile males produced by classical genetic, transgenic or symbiont-based technologies

To assess potential horizontal transfer phenomena towards the use of strains developed by transgenic or symbiont-based approaches for SIT applications

To refine, if necessary, existing technologies for the development and application of strains for the control of agricultural pests and disease vectors

7.1) To comparatively evaluate the performance of sterile males produced by classical genetic, transgenic or symbiont-based technologies

7.2) To refine, if necessary, existing technologies and/or adopt new ones for the development and application of strains for the control of agricultural pests and disease vectors

7.3) To assess potential genetic instability and/or horizontal transfer phenomena towards the use of strains developed by classical genetic, transgenic or symbiont-based approaches for SIT applications

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