Brassicas include cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and oilseed rape (canola). The female moth lays her eggs on the foliage of brassica plants. These hatch and the larvae eat the foliage, reducing the yield and marketability of the crop. Diamondback moth has been estimated to cost US$1 billion in control costs and losses every year.
The diamondback moth is generally controlled by pesticides, but it is notorious for rapidly developing resistance: for example, it was the first agricultural pest to develop resistance to DDT in the field.
Oxitec Diamondback Moth (OX4319)
OX4319 is a female-specific RIDL strain. This strain provides genetic sexing: separation of the sexes to allow for 100% male release. In addition, the strain may also be used without irradiation for population suppression. Released males will mate with wild females and female progeny will die. Eliminating females will suppress the population. OX4319 also carries a heritable DsRed fluorescent marker for reliable monitoring in the field. The strain has undergone extensive laboratory assessment and is ready for field trials with third parties.