0632 The role of the Sterile Insect Technique for eradication of pink bollworm in North America: achievements and remaining challenges

Tuesday, December 15, 2009: 9:40 AM
Room 206, Second Floor (Convention Center)
Gregory Simmons , CPHST, USDA-APHIS-PPQ-S&T, Salinas, CA
Colothdian Tate , Center for Plant Health Science and Technology CPHST Lab, Phoenix, USDA-APHIS-PPQ, Phoenix, AZ
Maria Sims , Center for Plant Health Science and Technology CPHST Lab, Phoenix, USDA-APHIS-PPQ, Phoenix, AZ
The Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) has been used for over 40 years to keep the pink bollworm (PBW), Pectinophora gossypiella (Saunders), Gelechiidae, out of a large cotton growing area in the Central Valley of California, USA. In 2002, the first phase of an eradication program was started in Western Texas, New Mexico and northern Mexico. In 2008, the final phase of the program was initiated with the inclusion of all of the remaining cotton production areas in the western production belt with the addition of western Arizona, southeastern California and north-western Mexico. Sterile PBW production now stands at 26-28 million moths/d and the area treated with sterile moths exceeds 350,000 ha. Progress towards eradication has been steady with all areas of the program reporting significant decreases in population density over the last three years. Texas, New Mexico, Chihuahua in Mexico and the eastern regions of Arizona are now transitioning towards a post-eradication phase predicted to begin in 2010, with the rest of the program areas expected to follow in 2011-2012. The increased demands of pink bollworm eradication have increased the need for improved quality control systems and methods for mass-rearing, irradiation, packaging and shipping, sterile insect release, and program monitoring. In this presentation we describe current systems of quality control used for operation of the mass-rearing factory and the release and monitoring aspects of the program. New quality control systems under development are presented along with research underway to support the expanded eradication program. A key research need is the development of a post-eradication strategy that will support the maintenance of a pink bollworm-free area after primary program control operations have ceased.

doi: 10.1603/ICE.2016.40286