PloS one

Assessment of Sublethal and Transgenerational Effects of Pirimicarb on the Wheat Aphids Rhopalosiphum padi and Sitobion avenae.

PMID 26121265


The wheat aphids, Rhopalosiphum padi (Linnaeus) and Sitobion avenae (Fabricius), are key pests on wheat crops worldwide. Management practices rely primarily on insecticides. The pirimicarb (carbamate) is used extensively as an effective insecticide to control these two aphids. In addition to the mortality caused by pirimicarb, various sublethal effects may occur in aphids when exposed to low lethal or sublethal doses. Understanding the general effect of pirimicarb on aphids could help increasing rational use of this insecticide. Under laboratory conditions, we assessed the sublethal effects of a low lethal concentration of pirimicarb (LC25) on biological traits and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity of R. padi and S. avenae. Both direct and transgenerational effects, i.e. on parent and the F1 generations were assessed, respectively. We found that R. padi and S. avenae responded differentially to the LC25 of pirimicarb. The parent generation of R. padi showed a 39% decrease in fecundity and multiple transgenerational effects were observed in the F1 generation; overall juvenile development, reproductive period, adult longevity and lifespan were longer than those of the control group. By contrast, LC25 of pirimicarb showed almost no effects on S. avenae biological traits in both the parent and F1 generations; only the pre-reproductive duration was reduced in F1 generations. Demographic parameter estimates (e.g. rm) showed similar trend, i.e. significant negative effect on R. padi population growth and no effect on S. avenae. However, AChE activity decreased in both R. padi and S. avenae treated by the LC25 of pirimicarb. We demonstrated sublethal and transgenerational effects of pirimicarb in the two wheat aphid species; it hinted at the importance of considering sublethal effects (including hormesis) of pirimicarb for optimizing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) of wheat aphids.