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Impact of plasma irradiation on Tribolium castaneum

Sayed, Waheed A. A.; Hassan, Reda S.; Sileem, Thanaa M.; Rumpold, Birgit A.

Radio frequency plasma (RFP) could provide reliable, compact, cost-effective irradiation applications against insect pests of stored food and feed products. Sensitivity of red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum to RFP has been investigated using an irradiation applicator system with the two types of inert gases, argon (Ar) and helium (He), at 100 W for five exposure time levels of 0, 20, 40, 60 and 90 s, respectively. We demonstrated that He RFP was more efficient against T. castaneum than Ar RFP. In addition, a positive correlation was observed between mortality percentages of treated insect stages and exposure times for both He and Ar RFP. The adult stage showed the highest tolerance to RFP irradiation followed by larvae and pupae; however, it was more susceptible than larvae within 24 h after He RFP treatments. The optimum exposure time was 90 s with He RFP, where a full mortality at all tested stages was accomplished, while mortalities of 71.4, 65.3 and 36.7% were recorded for pupae, larvae and adult stage, respectively, after an Ar RFP treatment of 90 s. In case of treated adults, the reproduction rate was higher than treated larvae and pupae. Our findings indicated that He RFP was an effective method for inhibiting T. castaneum development and impacting the insect life cycle and could be considered a promising tool for pest control of stored food.
Published in: Journal of Pest Science, 10.1007/s10340-021-01360-9, Springer Nature