Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School


First Advisor

Paul L. Guss


Insects continue to be one of the major problems of man. It is, however, becoming more and more difficult to find substances that are effective in controlling insects and that are environmentally safe. It has become apparent that to control or eliminate harmful insects, alternate methods of control must be developed to replace or reduce the use of insecticides. One possible alternate method of control is to use insects against themselves in a process called the sterile male technique. This technique generally uses gamma radiation to induce sterility in males. When they are released into the native population and mate with females, no offspring are produced. The purpose of this work was to test the effects of gamma radiation on the southern corn rootworm (Diabrotica undecimpunctata howardi) to determine if this insect is a possible candidate for the sterile male technique. The first objective was to determine if the southern corn rootworm could be sterilized with sublethal doses of gamma radiation. The second objective was to compare the longevity and sexual competitiveness of the sterilized males with untreated males.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Spotted cucumber beetle
Insect sterilization




South Dakota State University

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Biology Commons