, Volume 73, Issue 1, pp 67–75 | Cite as

Effects of γ radiation on the reproduction and enteroendocrine cells of the spruce bark beetle Ips typographus and prospects for its control

  • Helena Čičková
  • Milan Kozánek
  • Dušan Žitňan
  • Ladislav Roller
Original Article


The European spruce bark beetle Ips typographus is one of the most important pests of spruce forests in Europe. The present study investigated the feasibility of a sterile insect technique (SIT) for this pest control. Laboratory-reared males were exposed to various doses of γ radiation (0, 10, 30, 50, 70 and 90 Gy) and allowed to mate with laboratory-reared untreated females. The radiation significantly affected the number of viable offspring. Although females oviposited on average 16.0–18.8 eggs per maternal tunnel in all treatments, the number of larval tunnels per maternal tunnel observed after 4 weeks of development decreased from 17.3 in the control (0 Gy) to 4.5 in the 90-Gy group. Numerous oviposition sites without larval tunnels were observed in galleries when males received high doses (70 and 90 Gy) of γ radiation. Comparison of the sperm viability in the control and irradiated males did not reveal any statistically significant differences. Side effects of the irradiation were examined by immunostaining of the enteroendocrine cells. Two distinct types of cells were revealed with antibodies to neuropeptides allatostatin A and tachykinin in the midgut. The alimentary tracts of males receiving a high dose of radiation (90 Gy) showed a significantly decreased number of tachykinin-like immunoreactive enteroendocrine cells. This observation suggests potential radiation-induced damage of the digestive system, which could lead to a reduction in male fitness. The implications of these findings for successful use of SIT in spruce bark beetle control are discussed.


Coleoptera Sterile insect technique Fertility γ radiation Enteroendocrine cell Neuropeptide 



The authors are very thankful to Eva Miklošová, Lucia Celerová, Michal Vrabec and Boris Lipták (IZ SAS) for help with laboratory rearing of the bark beetles and for assistance during the experiments. We also wish to express our gratitude to Ján Ferenčík (State Forests of TANAP, Slovakia) who provided spruce logs for bark beetle rearing and offered helpful advice regarding bark beetle biology, especially behaviour under the field conditions. We thank Dr. Andrew Parker and Dr. Henry Adun (FAO/IAEA Agriculture and Biotechnology Laboratory, Entomology Unit, IAEA Laboratories Seibersdorf, Austria) and the Slovak Institute of Metrology, Bratislava, for irradiation of the bark beetles in their facilities.

This study was funded by the Operational Program of Research and Development and co-financed by the European Fund for Regional Development (EFRD), grant: ITMS 26220220087: The development of ecological methods to control chosen forest pests in vulnerable mountainous regions of Slovakia (90%) and grant ITMS 26240220044 (10%).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interests

During preparation and submission of the manuscript, MK was an employee of Scientica Ltd., a start-up company focused on applied biological and technological research (particularly the use of insects in biotechnology) and transfer of recent scientific findings into practical applications.


  1. Aguilar R, Maestro JL, Vilaplana L, Pascual N, Piulachs MD, Bellés X (2003) Allatostatin gene expression in brain and midgut, and activity of synthetic allatostatins on feeding-related processes in the cockroach Blattella germanica. Regul Pept 115(3):171–177. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bakri A, Heather N, Hendrichs J, Ferris I (2005) Fifty years of radiation biology in entomology: lessons learned from IDIDAS. Ann Entomol Soc Am 98:1–12.[0001:FYORBI]2.0.CO;2Google Scholar
  3. Bednár B, Roller L, Čižmár D, Mitrová D, Žitňan D (2017) Developmental and sex-specific differences in expression of neuropeptides derived from allatotropin gene in the silkmoth Bombyx mori. Cell Tissue Res 368(2):259–275. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Core Team R (2015) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna Google Scholar
  5. Duve H, Thorpe A (1994) Distribution and functional significance of Leu-callatostatins in the blowfly Calliphora vomitoria. Cell Tissue Res 276(2):367–379 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Führer E (2004) Polyploid spermatozoa in Pityogenes chalcographus and Ips typographus (Coleoptera: Scolytidae). Eur J Entomol 101:21–27. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fusé M, Zhang JR, Partridge E, Nachman RJ, Orchard I, Bendena WG, Tobe SS (1999) Effects of an allatostatin and a myosuppressin on midgut carbohydrate enzyme activity in the cockroach Diploptera punctata. Peptides 20(11):1285–1293. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Hanewinkel M, Breidenbach J, Neeff T, Kublin E (2008) Seventy-seven years of natural disturbances in a mountain forest area – the influence of storm, snow, and insect damage analysed with a long-term time series. Can J For Res 38:2249–2261. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Jurčo M (2014) Management of the windstorm disaster “Alžbeta” from 19.11.2004 – strategy, steps to eliminate its consequences over the past 10 years, legislative barriers. In: Fleischer P (ed) Proceedings of the conference at the 10th anniversary of windstorm disaster from 2004 in the High Tatras, pp 29–41 [in Slovak]Google Scholar
  10. Krafsur ES (1998) Sterile insect technique for supressing and eradicating insect population: 55 years and counting. J Agric Entomol 15:303–317Google Scholar
  11. Lauzon CR, Potter SE (2012) Description of the irradiated and nonirradiated midgut of Ceratitis capitata Wiedemann (Diptera: Tephritidae) and Anastrepha ludens Loew (Diptera: Tephritidae) used for sterile insect technique. J Pest Sci 85:217–226. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lehnert LW, Bässler C, Brandl R, Burton PJ, Müller J (2013) Conservation value of forests attacked by bark beetles: highest number of indicator species is found in early successional stages. J Nat Conserv 21:97–104. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lindquist DA (1984) Atoms for pest control. IAEA Bull 26(2):22–25Google Scholar
  14. Lundquist CT, Clottens FL, Holman GM, Riehm JP, Bonkale W, Nässel DR (1994) Locustatachykinin immunoreactivity in the blowfly central nervous system and intestine. J Comp Neurol 341:225–240. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. MacNaughton WK (2000) Review article: new insights into the pathogenesis of radiation-induced intestinal dysfunction. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 14:523–528. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Mattanovich J, Ehrenhöfer M, Vavra C, Führer E (1999) Zur Weiterentwicklung eines halbsynthetischen Nährmediums für Ips typographus L. Anzeiger für Schädlingskunde 72(2):49–51. Google Scholar
  17. Müller J, Bußler H, Goßner M, Rettelbach T, Duelli P (2008) The European spruce bark beetle Ips typographus in a national park: from pest to keystone species. Biodivers Conserv 17:2979–3001. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Nässel DR (1999) Tachykinin-related peptides in invertebrates: a review. Peptides 20(1):141–158. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Nässel DR, Winther AM (2010) Drosophila neuropeptides in regulation of physiology and behavior. Prog Neurobiol 92(1):42–104. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Niemeyer H (1997) Integrated bark beetle control: experiences and problems in Northern Germany, pp. 80–86. In: Grégoire JC, Liebhold AM, Stephen FM, Ray KR, Salom SM (eds): Proceedings: Integrating cultural tactics into the management of bark beetle and reforestation pests. USDA Forest Service General Technical Report NE-236. Accessed 05 Nov 2015
  21. Pabla N, Lange AB (1999) The distribution and myotropic activity of locustatachykinin-like peptides in locust midgut. Peptides 20:1159–1167. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Sarkar NR, Tobe SS, Orchard I (2003) The distribution and effects of Dippu-allatostatin-like peptides in the blood-feeding bug, Rhodnius prolixus. Peptides 24(10):1553–1562. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Sauvard D (2007) General biology of bark beetles. In: Lieuter F, Day KR, Battisti A, Grégoire J-C, Evans HF (eds) Bark and wood boring insects in living trees in Europe, a synthesis. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 63–88. Google Scholar
  24. Schelhaas M-J, Nabuurs G-J, Schuck A (2003) Natural disturbances in the European forests in the 19th and 20th centuries. Glob Chang Biol 9:1620–1633. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Schlyter F, Cederholm I (1981) Separation of the sexes of living spruce bark beetles, Ips typographus (L.), (Coleoptera: Scolytidae). Z Angew Entomol 92:42–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Schoofs L, Vanden Broeck J, De Loof A (1993) The myotropic peptides of Locusta migratoria: structures, distribution, functions and receptors. Insect Biochem Mol Biol 23:859–881. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Sehnal F, Žitňan D (1996) Midgut endocrine cells. In: Lehane MJ, Billingsley PF (eds) The biology of the insect midgut. Chapman and Hall, London, pp 55–86. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sliwowska J, Rosinski G, Nässel DR (2001) Cardioacceleratory action of tachykinin-related neuropeptides and proctolin in two coleopteran insect species. Peptides 22(2):209–217. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Stiles JK, Molyneux DH, Wallbanks KR, Van der Vloedt AMV (1989) Effects of γ irradiation on the midgut ultrastructure of Glossina palpalis subspecies. Radiat Res 118:353–363. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Turčáni M, Vakula J (2007) The influence of irradiation on the behaviour and reproduction success of eight toothed bark beetle Ips typographus (Coleoptera: Scolytidae). J For Sci 53(Special Issue):31–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Vakula J, Sitková Z, Galko J, Gubka A, Zúbrik M, Kunca A, Rell S (2014) Impact of irrigation on the gallery parameters of the spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus L., Coleoptera: Curculionidae, Scolytinae). Lesnícky časopis - For J 60:61–67. Google Scholar
  32. Van Loy T, Vandersmissen HP, Poels J, Van Hiel MB, Verlinden H, Vanden Broeck J (2010) Tachykinin-related peptides and their receptors in invertebrates: a current view. Peptides 31(3):520–524. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Veenstra JA, Agricola HJ, Sellami A (2008) Regulatory peptides in fruit fly midgut. Cell Tissue Res 334:499–516. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Verlinden H, Gijbels M, Lismont E, Lenaerts C, Vanden Broeck J, Marchal E (2015) The pleiotropic allatoregulatory neuropeptides and their receptors: a mini-review. J Insect Physiol 80:2–14. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Weissgerber TL, Milic NM, Winham SJ, Garovic VD (2015) Beyond bar and line graphs: time for a new data presentation paradigm. PLoS Biol 13(4):e1002128. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Institute of Zoology, Slovak Academy of Sciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helena Čičková
    • 1
  • Milan Kozánek
    • 2
  • Dušan Žitňan
    • 1
  • Ladislav Roller
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of ZoologySlovak Academy of SciencesBratislavaSlovakia
  2. 2.Scientica s. r. oBratislavaSlovakia

Personalised recommendations