Pesticide biochemistry and physiology

Both point mutations and low expression levels of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor β1 subunit are associated with imidacloprid resistance in an Aphis gossypii (Glover) population from a Bt cotton field in China.

PMID 28911734


Aphis gossypii Glover is a destructive pest of numerous crops throughout the world. Although the expansion of Bt cotton cultivation has helped to control some insect pests, the damage from cotton aphids has not been mitigated. The evolution of aphid resistance to imidacloprid has made its chemical control more difficult since its introduction in 1991. Field populations of A. gossypii that were collected from different transgenic (Bt) cotton planting areas of China in 2014 developed different levels of resistance to imidacloprid. The IMI_R strain has developed high resistance to imidacloprid with the resistance ratio >1200-fold. Compared with the susceptible IMI_S strain, the IMI_R strain also developed a high level cross resistance to sulfoxaflor and acetamiprid. The limited synergism with either PBO or DEF suggests that resistance may be due to the site mutation of molecular target rather than to enhanced detoxification. Three target-site mutations within the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) β1 subunit were detected in the IMI_R strain. The R81T mutation has been reported to be responsible for imidacloprid resistance in A. gossypii and M. persicae. Both V62I and K264E were first detected in A. gossypii. These point mutations are also present in field populations, suggesting that they play a role in the resistance to imidacloprid. Furthermore, the expression level of transcripts encoding β1 subunit was decreased significantly in the IMI_R strain compared with the IMI_S strain, suggesting that both point mutations and the down-regulation of nAChR β1 subunit expression may be involved in the resistance mechanism for imidacloprid in A. gossypii. These results should be useful for the management of imidacloprid-resistant cotton aphids in Bt cotton fields in China.

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