Meeting Abstract

117.2  Saturday, Jan. 7  Anoxia boosts post-irradiation longevity and mating success in a lekking fly LOPEZ-MARTINEZ, G*; HAHN, D.A.; University of Florida; University of Florida

Oxidative stress can be triggered by an array of environmental stressors and increases in oxidative stress can mediate sexual selection and impact mating success. One such stressor is gamma irradiation which in insects is used as part of a control tactic known as the sterile insect technique (SIT). Irradiated organisms suffer stiff performance costs, such as reduced flight ability, mating competence/success, and longevity compared to their non-irradiated counterparts. Using the Caribbean fruit fly, Anastrepha suspensa, we hypothesized that a one hour anoxia treatment prior to irradiation, as well as, performing irradiation in an oxygen-free environment, improves post-irradiation performance in part due to an elevation in antioxidants. This enhancement in antioxidant defenses has been shown to lead to a reduction in post-irradiation oxidative stress and damage, and performance improvements in adult emergence and flight ability. We previously found that anoxia leads to an increase in antioxidants accompanied by a reduction in oxidative damage. Here we present evidence that this antioxidant boost also leads to improved mating success at both the time of sexual maturation (10 days) but also four weeks after the irradiation/sterilization event. Males irradiated in anoxia had higher mating success than those irradiated in oxygen at both time points. In addition, the protective role of anoxia increased male longevity by several weeks. Thus our data reinforces the idea that a boost in antioxidant defenses prior to irradiation effectively lowers irradiation damage and improves post-irradiation male sexual performance. Other mild stressors, such as temperature manipulations, may also lead to increases in antioxidants enzyme and future investigations will be geared toward that end.