Effects of Bacterial Contamination on Gamma-Irradiated and Nonirradiated Corn Ear worm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)

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Seven-day-old larvae of Helicoverpa zea (Boddie) were gamma-irradiated with 5.0 or 7.5 krad and subsequently reared on bacteria-free or bacteria-contaminated diet. Bacterial contamination adversely affected almost all parameters tested including larval mortality, pupal weights, larval and pupal deformities, egg production, and egg hatch. Life span and mating competitiveness of survivors were not affected by bacterial contamination. Production losses of H. zea due to bacterial contamination varied with bacterial species. Pseudomonas maltophilia Hugh & Ryschenkow and Bacillus subtilis (Ehrenberg) Cohn caused the highest losses, and Escherichia coli (Migula) Castellani & Chalmers and Leuconostoc mesenteroides (Tsenkovskii) van Tieghem caused the lowest losses. Mortality and reduced fecundity due to irradiation were additive to mortality and reduced fecundity caused by bacteria, but interaction between bacteria and irradiation was not significant in any of the tests.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1991

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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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