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Phosphine Mortality Estimation for Simulation of Controlling Pest of Stored Grain: Lesser Grain Borer (Rhyzopertha dominica)

Authors: Mingren Shi, Michael Renton


There is a world-wide need for the development of sustainable management strategies to control pest infestation and the development of phosphine (PH3) resistance in lesser grain borer (Rhyzopertha dominica). Computer simulation models can provide a relatively fast, safe and inexpensive way to weigh the merits of various management options. However, the usefulness of simulation models relies on the accurate estimation of important model parameters, such as mortality. Concentration and time of exposure are both important in determining mortality in response to a toxic agent. Recent research indicated the existence of two resistance phenotypes in R. dominica in Australia, weak and strong, and revealed that the presence of resistance alleles at two loci confers strong resistance, thus motivating the construction of a two-locus model of resistance. Experimental data sets on purified pest strains, each corresponding to a single genotype of our two-locus model, were also available. Hence it became possible to explicitly include mortalities of the different genotypes in the model. In this paper we described how we used two generalized linear models (GLM), probit and logistic models, to fit the available experimental data sets. We used a direct algebraic approach generalized inverse matrix technique, rather than the traditional maximum likelihood estimation, to estimate the model parameters. The results show that both probit and logistic models fit the data sets well but the former is much better in terms of small least squares (numerical) errors. Meanwhile, the generalized inverse matrix technique achieved similar accuracy results to those from the maximum likelihood estimation, but is less time consuming and computationally demanding.

Keywords: mortality estimation, probit models, logistic model, generalized inverse matrix approach, pest control simulation

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