The Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata, is one of the most serious pests of fruit crops world-wide. During the last decades, area-wide pest management (AW-IPM) approaches with a sterile insect technique (SIT) component have been used to control populations of this pest in an effective and environment-friendly manner. The development of genetic sexing strains (GSS), such as the Vienna 8 strain, has been played a major role in increasing the efficacy and reducing the cost of SIT programs. However, mass rearing, extensive inbreeding, possible bottleneck phenomena and hitch-hiking effects might pose major risks for deterioration and loss of important genetic characteristics of domesticated insect. In the present study, we present a modified procedure to cryopreserve the embryos of the medfly Vienna 8 GSS based on vitrification and used this strain as insect model to assess the impact of the cryopreservation process on the genetic structure of the cryopreserved insects. Forty-eight hours old embryos, incubated at 24°C, were found to be the most suitable developmental stage for cryopreservation treatment for high production of acceptable hatch rate (38%). Our data suggest the absence of any negative impact of the cryopreservation process on egg hatch rate, pupation rates, adult emergence rates and stability of the temperature sensitive lethal (tsl) character on two established cryopreserved lines (flies emerged from cryopreserved embryos), named V8-118 and V8-228. Taken together, our study provides an optimized procedure to cryopreserve the medfly Vienna 8 GSS and documents the absence of any negative impact on the genetic structure and quality of the strain. Benefits and sceneries for utilization of this technology to support operational SIT projects are discussed in this paper.
Augustinos, A. A., Rajamohan, A., Kyritsis, G. A., Zacharopoulou, A., Haq, I. U., Targovska, A., … Abd-Alla, A. M. M. (2016). Cryopreservation of embryos of the mediterranean fruit fly ceratitis capitata vienna 8 genetic sexing strain. PLoS ONE, 11(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0160232