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