EXPOSURE TO GINGER ROOT OIL ENHANCES MATING SUCCESS OF MALE MEDITERRANEAN FRUIT FLIES (DIPTERA: TEPHRITIDAE) FROM A GENETIC SEXING STRAIN
AbstractIn the Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly), Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), exposure to α -copaene, a botanically derived male attractant, and ginger root oil (GRO), Zingiber officinale (Roscoe), which contains α -copaene, increased the mating success of wild males, and GRO enhanced mating competitiveness of mass-reared males from a bisexual, mass-reared strain. The present study extends this research by examining the effects of GRO exposure on the mating success of mass-reared males from a genetic sexing strain based on a temperature sensitive lethal (tsl) mutation. Such strains are currently used for nearly all sterile insect technique (SIT) programs for this insect. In addition, potential negative effects of GRO exposure on male survival and female remating propensity were investigated. Following exposure to GRO, males from the tsl mass-reared strain showed enhanced mating performance against wild-like males from two recently established colonies. Against wild-like males from a Guatemala strain, the proportion of matings obtained by males from the tsl mass-reared strain increased from 16% per replicate for non-exposed (control) individuals to 30% for GRO-exposed (treated) individuals. Against wild-like males from a Madeira strain, the proportion of matings obtained by treated, tsl mass-reared males was 39% per replicate compared to only 16% for control, tsl mass-reared males. Survivorship was similar between GRO-exposed and non-exposed males from the tsl strain, and females mated initially to treated or control tsl mass-reared males displayed similar remating propensity. The application of pre-release, GRO-exposure to males in the SIT against medfly is discussed.
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