Response to a synthetic pheromone source by OX4319L, a self-limiting diamondback moth (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) strain, and field dispersal characteristics of its progenitor strain

Michael Bolton, Hilda Collins, Tracey Chapman, Neil Morrison, Stefan Long, Charles Linn Jr, Anthony M. Shelton

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6 Citations (Scopus)


The diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae), is a global pest that infests vegetable and field crops within the Brassica family. A genetically engineered strain of P. xylostella, OX4319L, carrying a ‘self-limiting’ gene, has shown potential for managing P. xylostella populations, using sustained releases of OX4319L male moths. In order for such a strain to provide control, the transgenic individuals must exhibit attraction to female P. xylostella sex pheromone and adequate dispersal in the field. In this study, we tested these key traits. First, we compared the responses of the OX4319L male moths to a synthetic female sex pheromone source in wind tunnel trials to those of males from three other strains. We found that OX4319L males responded comparably to strains of non-engineered males, with all males flying upwind towards the pheromone source. Second, we used mark-release-recapture studies of a wildtype P. xylostella strain, from which the OX4319L strain was originally developed, to assess dispersal under field conditions. Released males were recaptured using both pheromone-baited and passive traps within a 2.83 ha circular cabbage field, with a recapture rate of 7.93%. Males were recaptured up to the boundary of the field at 95 m from the central release point. The median dispersal of males was 14 m. These results showed the progenitor strain of OX4319L retained its ability to disperse within a host field. The results of these experiments are discussed in relation to the potential for the effective use of engineered male-selecting P. xylostella strains under field conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1546-1551
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Economic Entomology
Issue number4
Early online date27 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

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