Acetylcholinesterase Mediated Susceptibility of Soldiers and Workers of Formosan Subterranean Termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) to Chlorpyrifos

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Target site studies were undertaken to examine the difference in susceptibility of Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, workers and soldiers to chlorpyrifos. Workers exhibited significantly greater acetylcholinesterase activity per insect than soldiers (118.63 ± 48.51 versus 47.98 ± 22.59 mOD/min/insect equivalent). Likewise, enzyme activity (mean ± SD) per milligram of protein was greater in workers than soldiers (440.30 ± 267.43 versus 311.53 ± 149.83 mOD/min/mg protein). The enzyme of soldiers was more sensitive to the acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors eserine and chlorpyrifos-oxon than that of workers. The I50s of chlorpyrifos-oxon were 2.66 and 4.59 nM for soldiers and workers, respectively, whereas the I50s of eserine were 16.56 and 25.41 nM for soldiers and workers, respectively. The amount of protein was significantly higher in workers than in soldiers with mean values of 0.270 ± 0.102 and 0.154 ± 0.054 mg/insect equivalent, respectively. We suggest that the differential response of workers and soldiers to chlorpyrifos may be due to the difference in AChE sensitivity to inhibition and the amount of protein between them.

Keywords: Coptotermes formosanus; acetylcholinesterase; chlorpyrifos; chlorpyrifos-oxon; eserine; resistance

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 2002

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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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