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Spinosad: A Promising Tool for Integrated Pest Management

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Spinosad is a mixture of spinosyn A and D which are tetracyclic-macrolide secondary metabolites produced by an actinomycete, Saccharopolyspora spinosa Mertz & Yao. It represents a new class of insecticides for use in agriculture with favorable mammalian and off-target toxicity profiles. Small-scale studies have suggested that spinosad can be useful for control of stored-product pests particularly those resistant to phosphine fumigation. Although the precise site of action of spinosad is still under investigation, research to date reveals that it alters the function of -aminobutyric acid channels and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

Currently there are only a few cases of insect resistance to spinosad and it is not known to share cross-resistance mechanisms with any existing class of insecticide. A detailed genetic study is needed to determine the bases of resistance. On the basis of simple reciprocal crosses and backcrosses, resistance appears to be inherited as a codominant trait controlled by a single locus. In general, spinosad has larger margins of safety for parasitoids and predators but its higher concentrations may prove lethal to certain beneficial arthropods. The efficacy of spinosad can be conserved if it is judiciously rotated with other suitable insecticides in a spray program and the maximum number of applications is restricted.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2005

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