An assessment of the potential of irradiation as a postharvest control treatment against the banded fruit weevil, Phlyctinus callosus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae): effects on adult weevils and host fruit (‘Flavor Fall’ pluots)

Duvenhage, Andries J. (2013-12)

Thesis (MScAgric)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The export of South African fruit to some of its biggest international markets may be rejected if the phytosanitary pest, Phlyctinus callosus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is found in fruit consignments. An alternative to methyl bromide fumigation is needed and one of the most promising of the alternative treatments is phytosanitary irradiation as it is environmentally friendly, does not leave residues on food or in the environment and it is effective against a wide variety of insects. Field-collected weevils were treated with five doses of gamma irradiation (5, 10, 20, 40 and 80 Gy) and the fecundity and fertility of mating crosses of treated males and females with treated and untreated individuals of the opposite sex, were determined to evaluate the effect on P. callosus reproductive ability post-treatment. Results indicated that irradiation treatment did not affect fecundity, but fertility was significantly affected, decreasing as the irradiation dose increased. Females were more susceptible to the irradiation treatment than males, and after treatment with 80 Gy, eggs laid by females and mated with either treated or untreated males, did not hatch. A generic dose of 400 Gy for all insect pests except tephritid fruit flies and pupae and adult Lepidoptera is currently approved by USDA-APHIS (United States Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services) for use on certain commodities. Results from the present study support the development of a species-specific dose for P. callosus, as well as the development of a group generic dose for the Curculionidae that is lower than 400 Gy. Effective phytosanitary irradiation treatments are only feasible if the treatment does not adversely affect fruit quality and the marketability of export fruit. Therefore, an investigation of the effects of irradiation disinfestations treatments on the quality of the new pluot cultivar, ‘Flavor Fall’ was made. Packed cartons were treated with three doses of gamma irradiation: 400 Gy, 900 Gy and 1400 Gy. After treatment fruit underwent a PD 7 dual temperature cold storage regime for 42 days and a shelf-life simulation for 7 days. The impact of insect-proof bags, sometimes required by importing countries to keep insects off packaged fruit, was also investigated. Respiration rate of the fruit was measured throughout and fruit quality evaluations were done after cold storage and after shelf-life. The results indicated that quality parameters measured at the end of cold storage, which would be after the fruit arrives at the export markets, were above the minimum standards for overseas markets. Gel breakdown was unacceptably high after the higher temperature exposure of shelf-life for fruit treated with the 900 and 1400 Gy doses. The insect-proof bags reduced shrivel, but resulted in higher incidence of gel breakdown. The use of irradiation, together with the use of the insect-proof bag, has potential as an alternative postharvest mitigation treatment for plums. Lastly, an investigation into potential rearing methods for P. callosus, including recommendation for the future, was made as the availability of a sustainable rearing method that ensures a consistent supply of high quality P. callosus adults would enable continuous research with greater numbers of this pest. The information generated in this study provides a greater understanding of the radiation biology of, not only this curculionid species, but the Curculionidae as a group, and is valuable in advancing the development of alternative postharvest control measures against this phytosanitary pest.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Suid Afrikaanse vrugte uitvoere na van die grootste internasionale markte mag weg gewys word as die fitosanitêre pes, Phlyctinus callosus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in die versending gevind word. ‘n Alternatief vir metiel bromied beroking word benodig en een van die mees belowende alternatiewe behandelings is fitosanitêre bestraling aangesien dit omgewings vriendelik is, nie residue op kos of in die omgewing los nie, en effektief is teen ‘n wye verskeidenheid van insekte. Veldversamelde kalanders is behandel met vyf dosisse gamma bestraling (5, 10, 20, 40 en 80 Gy) waarna die vrugbaarheid van paringskruisings bepaal is deur kruisings tussen behandelde manlike en vroulike kalanders met behandelde en nie-behandelde individue van die teenoorgestelde geslag te maak, en so die na-behandelings effek op die voortplantings vermoeë van P. callosus te evalueer. Die resultate het getoon dat die bestralings behandeling geen invloed gehad het op die hoeveelheid eiers wat gelê is nie, maar dat die uitbroei van eiers aanduidend geaffekteer is deur die behandeling. Die hoeveelheid eiers wat uitgebroei het, het minder geraak soos die bestralings behandeling toegeneem het. Vroulike kalanders was meer sensitief vir die behandeling en na 80 Gy, of hul gekruis is met behandelde of niebehandelde mannetjies, het geen eiers uitgebroei nie. ‘n Generiese dosis van 400 Gy vir alle insekte, uitsluitend tephritiese vrugte vlieë en papies en volwasse Lepidoptera is huidiglik goedgekeur deur die USDA-APHIS (United States Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services) vir sekere kommoditeite. Die resultate van die huidige studie ondersteun die ontwikkeling van ‘n spesie-spesifieke dosis vir P. callosus, so ook die ontwikkeling van ‘n generiese groep dosis vir Curculionidae wat laer as 400 Gy is. Effektiewe fitosanitêre bestralings behandeling is slegs moontlik indien die behandelings dosis nie nadelig vir vrugkwaliteit en die bemarking van uitvoer vrugte is nie. Dus is die effek wat bestralings bestryding behandeling op die kwaliteit van ‘n nuwe pluot kultivar, ‘Flavor Fall’ ondersoek. Vrugte verpak in kartonne is met drie dosisse gamma bestraling behandel: 400 Gy, 900 Gy en 1400 Gy. Na behandeling is die vrugte deur ‘n PD 7 dubbel temperatuur koelopbergings regime van 42 dae en rak-lewe simulasie vir 7 dae gesit. Die impak van insek-bestande sakke wat insekte van die verpakte vrugte weg hou en soms deur invoerende lande ‘n vereiste is, is ook ondersoek. Respirasie tempo van die vrugte is getoets en vrugkwaliteit evaluasies is gedoen na koelopberging en rak-lewe. Die resultate het getoon dat die kwaliteits maatstawwe wat getoets is na koelopberging (wat tipies is wanneer die vrugte by die uitvoer mark arriveer), almal bo die minimum standaarde van die uitvoer markte was. Gel-afbraak was onaanvaarbaar hoog na blootstelling aan die hoër temperature tydens rak-lewe vir vrugte wat behandel is met 900 en 1400 Gy. Die insek-bestande sakke het verrimpeling verminder, maar die voorkoms van gel-afbraak vermeerder. Die gebruik van bestraling, tesame met die insek-bestande sakke, het potensiaal as alternatiewe na-oes behandeling vir pruime. Laastens is ‘n ondersoek ingestel vir moontlike teeltegnieke vir P. callosus en aanbevelings gemaak vir toekomstike studies. Die beskikbaarheid van ‘n volhoubare teeltegniek wat konstante, hoë kwaliteit P. colossus individue verskaf sal aaneenlopende navorsing met groter getalle van die pes moontlik maak. Die inligting wat deur hierdie studie gegenereer is help om die bestralings biologie, nie net van hierdie curculionid spesie nie, maar die Curculionidae as ‘n groep te verstaan, en is kosbaar in die bevordering van ontwikkeling van alternatiewe na-oes beheer meganismes teen hierdie fitosanitêre pes.

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