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Host Plant-Induced Changes in Detoxification Enzymes and Susceptibility to Pesticides in the Twospotted Spider Mite (Acari: Tetranychidae)

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Adult female twospotted spider mites, Tetranychus urticae Koch, reared on lima bean plants were moved to cucumber, maize, or new lima bean plants (the latter being a control) and evaluated after 24 h or 7 d for changes in susceptibility to three pesticides and in levels of related detoxification enzymes. The largest and most consistent changes were observed in mites feeding on cucumber. Susceptibility of mites on cucumber to the synthetic pyrethroids bifenthrin and λ-cyhalothrin was greater than that of mites reared on lima bean and maize after only 24 h on the plants, and remained higher after 7 d. Mites on cucumber also were more susceptible to the organophosphate dimethoate than were mites on lima bean, but only after 7 d on the host. Susceptibility was inversely related to activities of both general esterase and glutathione S-transferase (GST) in mites on cucumber; general esterase and GST activities were 60 and 25% lower, respectively, than activities of twospotted spider mite on lima bean after 7 d of feeding. Mites on maize were slightly but significantly more susceptible than those on lima bean to bifenthrin, but not to λ-cyhalothrin, after 7 d and to dimethoate after 24 h but not after 7 d. General esterase and GST activities in twospotted spider mite fed on maize for 24 h were 20 and 16% higher, respectively, than activities in twospotted spider mite on lima bean, but general esterase activity was 30% lower than lima bean-fed mites and GST was not different after 7 d. Thus, plant-induced changes in general esterase activity, perhaps in combination with GST activity, in twospotted spider mite appear to be inversely related to, and possibly responsible for, changes in susceptibility of twospotted spider mite to several pesticides, particularly the synthetic pyrethroids. General esterases appear to play less of a role in the detoxification of the organophosphate insecticide dimethoate.

Keywords: Tetranychus urticae; cucumber; esterase; glutathione S-transferase; maize; pesticide susceptibility

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/0022-0493-94.2.381

Publication date: April 1, 2001

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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