Genetic sexing refers to the methodologies enabling the separation of large numbers of insects according to sex (e.g., the separation or killing of females so that an all male population is produced). It is especially relevant for the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) which is used to control or eradicate key insect pests by introducing genetic sterility into the target population. The primary active agent in the SIT is the sterile male, although in practice, both sexes have been released. A role for the sterile female in the SIT was sometimes debated, but direct evidence shows that females do not contribute significantly to the sterility induced in the wild population. In fact, releasing both sexes together at the high overflooding ratios required for the SIT to be effective leads to assortative mating among the released flies and, consequently, dilutes their effectiveness.
Genetic sexing can be achieved by utilizing natural differences between males and females (e.g., the time of...
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