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Laboratory Studies of Sterility and Competitiveness of Boll Weevils Irradiated in an Atmosphere of Nitrogen, Carbon Dioxide, or Air

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Almost all male Anthonomus grandis grandis Boheman treated with 7 krad of gamma irradiation in air were dead within 14 days but over half of the males irradiated in an atmosphere of nitrogen lived for at least 21 days. Males were still 98–100% sterile when allowed to mate 3 and 7 days after treatment with 7 krad in nitrogen; however, by the 10th day, sterility had dropped to ca. 85%. Dissections on the 21st day posttreatment revealed that many males had enlarged testes with sperm bundles, indicating that they had recovered fertility. A dosage of 10 krad in nitrogen was required to maintain a level of at least 99% sterility; at this dosage level, survival, sterility in both sexes, and male mating capability were the same as for 8 krad in air.

In laboratory tests, sexual competitiveness of males exposed to 10 krad in nitrogen (0.85) was significantly higher than that of males exposed to 8 krad in air (0.51). These competitiveness values from the laboratory studies were much higher than the published figures for weevil competitiveness in the field (0.17–0.36). This lack of agreement indicates that not all of the significant factors associated with male competitiveness are measured by the usual laboratory tests.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1979

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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