Genetic control of insect pests: growth industry or lead balloon?
Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society
Volume 26, Issue 4, pages 359–374, December 1985
How to Cite
CURTIS, C. F. (1985), Genetic control of insect pests: growth industry or lead balloon?. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 26: 359–374. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8312.1985.tb02047.x
- Issue published online: 28 JUN 2008
- Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
- Accepted for publication 34 1985
Genetic control is a form of biological control of pest species which exploits the insect's mate-seeking expertise to introduce genetic abnormalities (typically, but not necessarily, dominant lethal mutations) into the eggs of the wild population. The effectiveness of radiation-sterilized males depends on the mating competitiveness of released males being adequate in relation to the recovery potential of and rate of immigration into the target population. This technique is now being applied on a very large scale against agricultural pests especially in Mexico, Egypt and Japan. Variants on this technique, which may have advantages, include novel means of generating genetic loads in populations of Lepidioptera and sheep blowflies and the introduction into mosquito populations of genes making them unable to transmit malaria.