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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT OF QUARANTINE ALTERNATIVES FOR SUBTROPICAL FRUIT AND VEGETABLE PESTS Title: Ionizing radiation as a phytosanitary treatment against European corn borer (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) in ambient, low oxygen, and cold conditions

Authors
item Hallman, Guy
item Hellmich, Richard

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 9, 2008
Publication Date: February 20, 2009
Citation: Hallman, G.J., Hellmich II, R.L. 2009. Ionizing radiation as a phytosanitary treatment against European corn borer (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) in ambient, low oxygen, and cold conditions. Journal of Economic Entomology. 102:64-68.

Interpretive Summary: The European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis, is a quarantine pest of several fresh vegetables, including corn-on-the-cob, bell peppers, and green beans. Methyl bromide fumigation is the standard quarantine treatment, but the fumigant is under increasing regulation as an ozone-depleting substance, and alternatives are needed. Ionizing irradiation is a relatively new alternative that is used in several countries, including trading partners of the US. This research explored irradiation doses that would provide quarantine security for vegetables at risk of being infested by the European corn borer. Tolerance of late pupae (the most tolerant stage infesting commodities) as determined by hatch of eggs laid from adults emerging from irradiated pupae was not affected by host (diet vs. ear corn) or temperature (1 vs. 13 degrees C), but was affected by low oxygen storage. Longevity was shorter for adults of irradiated than non-irradiated pupae. The minimum absorbed dose for phytosanitary irradiation against European corn borer could vary from about 233 Gy for prevention of pupation of the next generation to about 343 Gy for prevention of hatch of eggs of the next generation. Lower doses might be possible if greater risk of treatment failure was acceptable.

Technical Abstract: The European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Hubner), (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), is a quarantine pest for several fresh commodities, including corn-on-the-cob, bell peppers, and green beans. Methyl bromide fumigation is the usual phytosanitary treatment, but the chemical is under increasing regulation as a stratospheric ozone-depleting substance. Alternatives are needed. Ionizing irradiation is a relatively new commercial alternative that is currently used in several countries. This research explored irradiation doses that would provide quarantine security for commodities at risk of being infested by O. nubilalis. Radiotolerance of late pupae (the most tolerant stage infesting commodities) as determined by hatch of F1 eggs was not affected by host (meridic diet vs. ear corn) or temperature (1 vs. 13 degrees C), but was positively affected by hypoxia. Longevity was shorter for adults of irradiated than non-irradiated pupae. The minimum absorbed dose for phytosanitary irradiation against O. nubilalis could vary from about 233 Gy for prevention of F1 pupation to about 343 Gy for prevention of F1 egg hatch. Lower doses might be possible if greater risk of treatment failure was acceptable.

Last Modified: 8/21/2014
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