Improvement of Colony Management in Insect Mass-rearing for SIT Applications

Open for proposals

Project Type

Coordinated Research Project

Project Code

D42017

CRP

2191

Approved Date

20 September 2017

Status

3 - Active - Ongoing

Start Date

12 April 2018

Expected End Date

11 April 2023

Participating Countries

Argentina
Australia
Brazil
Burkina Faso
Cameroon
Canada
France
Germany
Greece
Guatemala
Israel
Kenya
Mexico
Netherlands
Spain
United Republic of Tanzania
United States of America

Description

Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) applications against major insect pests and disease vectors rely on the cost-effective production of high quality sterile males. This largely depends on the optimal management of target pest colonies by maximizing the benefits provided by a genetically rich and pathogen-free mother colony, the presence of symbiotic microorganisms, and an efficient domestication and mass-rearing process, while at the same time minimizing or even eliminating the outbreak of microbial (bacteria, fungi, microsporidia) and viral pathogens, as well as the use of hazardous chemicals. The optimization of the colony management for different SIT target insects will ensure a standardized high quality mass-rearing process and the cost-effective production of sterile males with enhanced field performance and male mating competitiveness. The proposed CRP aims to develop best practices for insect colony management for the cost-effective production of high quality sterile males for SIT applications against major insect pests and disease vectors through a multidisciplinary approach involving entomologists, geneticists, ecologists, microbiologists, pathologists, virologists, and mass-rearing experts.

Objectives

The objective of this CRP is to develop the best practices for insect colony management for improved SIT applications against major insect pests by exploiting existing as well as novel knowledge and tools to address problems associated with mother colony deterioration and strain breakdown, symbionts and pathogens, and potential health issues. 

Specific objectives

Avoid or minimize the infection or build-up of microbial and viral pathogens in mass rearing facilities and the emergence of resistance against anti-microbial compounds and to overcome the lack of pathogen detection tools

Avoid or minimize the loss of strain stability or purity of specially designed or selected strains

Manage insect colonization procedures to overcome problems such as loss of genetic diversity, pathogen presence and low performance.

Prevent or minimize colony deterioration in terms of loss of genetic diversity, important symbiotic organisms, mating competitiveness, predator avoidance, longevity and change in circadian rhythm.

Prevent potential human health issues related to disease transmission to staff and reduce the staff exposure to hazardous materials, allergens, etc.

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