Cold Storage Enhances the Efficacy and Margin of Security in Postharvest Irradiation Treatments Against Fruit Flies (Diptera: Tephritidae)

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Cold storage is used to preserve fruit quality after harvest during transportation in marketing channels. Low temperature can be a stressor for insects that reduces survivorship, and cold storage may contribute to the efficacy of postharvest quarantine treatments such as irradiation against quarantine insect pests. The combined effect of irradiation and cold storage was examined in a radiation-tolerant fruit fly, Bactrocera cucurbitae Coquillet (melon fly), and a radiation-intolerant fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (Mediterranean fruit fly) (Diptera: Tephritidae). Third instars on diet or in papaya were treated with a sublethal radiation dose of 30 Gy and stored at 4 or 11°C for 3‐13 d and held for adult emergence. For both fruit fly species, survival of third instars to the adult stage generally decreased with increasing cold storage duration at 4 or 11°C in diet or papaya. Survivorship differences were highly significant for the effects of substrate (diet > papaya), temperature (11 > 4°C), and irradiation (0 > 30 Gy). Few Mediterranean fruit flies survived in any cold storage treatment after receiving a radiation dose of 30 Gy. No melon fly larvae survived to the adult stage after irradiation and 11 d cold storage at 4 or 11°C in papayas. Cold storage enhances the efficacy and widens the margin of security in postharvest irradiation treatments. Potentially irradiation and cold storage can be used in combination to reduce the irradiation exposure requirements of quarantine treatments.

Keywords: irradiation; phytosanitary treatment; postharvest; quarantine; systems approach

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2013

More about this publication?
  • 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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