Remating in Ceratitis capitata sterile males: Implications in sterile insect technique programmes
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AuthorCatalá-Oltra, Marta; Llácer, Elena; Dembilio, Óscar; Pla, Ignacio; Urbaneja, Alberto; Pérez-Hedo, Meritxell
Cita bibliográficaCatalá-Oltra, M., Llácer, E., Dembilio, O., Pla, I., Urbaneja, A., & Pérez-Hedo, M. (2021). Remating in Ceratitis capitata sterile males: Implications in sterile insect technique programmes. Journal of Applied Entomology, 00, 1–8.
Sterile insect technique (SIT) is used, among other biological control tools, as a sustainable measure for the management of Ceratitis capitata Wiedemann (Diptera: Tephritidae) in many agricultural regions where this pest can trigger severe economic impacts. The tendency of wild females to remate multiple times has been deeply studied; it has been a common point of controversy when evaluating SIT programmes. Nevertheless, the remating potential of the released sterile males remains unknown. Here, under laboratory conditions, the remating capability of mass-reared sterile males was determined. Wild-type virgin females were offered to sterile males (Vienna-8 strain), which had the opportunity to mate up to four consecutive times. The remating assays were carried out at 24 hr, 48 hr, 4 days and 7 days after the first mating. At the end of each tested time period, males were divided according to their mating response, mated or unmated, and subsequently reused for the next round of mating assays. The frequency of successful remating in each tested time period was obtained. Insemination was confirmed by determining the sperm transfer in mated female spermathecae by quantitative real-time PCR. Our results demonstrate that 73% of the mass-reared sterile males were able to remate 24 hr after the first mating, 55% of which remated again the day after. Close to 25% of the V8 sterile males tended to copulate in all of the four mating opportunities. The qPCR analysis of the spermathecae contents verified an effective transfer of V8 sperm to wild females with every mating; 99% of copulations resulted in sperm transfer. These findings shed light on the remating potential of V8 sterile males, an aspect until now underestimated in many SIT programmes.