Rearing of Prays citri on callus derived from lemon stigma and style culture

Virgilio Caleca, Virgilio Caleca, Francesco Giulio Crescimanno, Giovanni Mineo, Francesco Carimi, Fabio De Pasquale, Francesco Giulio Crescimanno, Giovanni Mineo

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A new method for rearing the citrus flower moth (Prays citri Mill.) (Lepidoptera, Yponomeutidae) on lemon [Citrus limon (L.) Burm.] callus is reported. In the present research callus (an undifferentiated mass of plant cells that can be grown under sterile conditions on an artificial medium in vitro) was induced from lemon stigma and style explants cultured on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with 500 mg l-1 malt extract, 13.3 μM 6-benzylaminopurine, and 146 mM sucrose. Also somatic embryogenesis and plant regeneration were obtained from the cultures of styles and stigmas of lemon. Adults were obtained from larvae on infested flowers collected in the field. Different oviposition substrates were used: white oval pearls (WOP), black oval pearls (BOP), rooted shoots (RS) of lemon obtained in vitro, and artificial flowers containing lemon callus (AF). Larvae were reared on lemon callus. Adults oviposited on RS, on WOP, and on AF. BOP were rejected as oviposition substrates. The flower moth reared on callus oviposited fertile eggs. In our tests P. citri completed three generations on callus or on callus plus shoots. In the latter case the larvae preferred callus and fed on shoots only after callus was completely eaten. The life cycle on callus at 23 ± 1°C lasted about 21 days. There were significant differences between oviposition substrates for what concerns the number of eggs laid. It was observed that females generally preferred WOP (about 25 eggs/female) to AF (about 20 eggs/female) or RS (about 12 eggs/female) as oviposition substrate. Nevertheless the percentage of eggs that developed into adults was higher when AF sealed with stretched Parafilm were used (about 70% of eggs developed into adults). The method of rearing P. citri with AF was labour-saving and the feeding substrate (callus) had less tendency to become mouldy or decompose than when WOP and RS were used. Since such a diet is available for the insect all year round and callus can be produced in unlimited quantity, it could be possible to obtain a mass production of this moth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-257
Number of pages7
JournalEntomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Publication statusPublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science

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