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J Econ Entomol. 2007 Apr;100(2):526-33.

Indirect selection for increased susceptibility to permethrin in diamondback moth (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae).

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Department of Entomology, Ohio Agricultural Researchand Development Center, The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH 44691, USA.


We have been exploring the behavioral response ot insect pests to heterogeneous distribution of toxins (low dose with refugia), and its genetic correlation with physiological tolerance to these toxins. A field-collected population of diamondback moth, Plutella xylostellu (L.) (Lepidoptera Plutellidae), from Celeryville, OH, was selected with permethrin to determine whether low heterogeneous doses could lead to increased susceptibility to permethrin by selecting indirectly on behavior. Two replicates of each of three selection regimes: uniform high concentration hypothesized to result in increased physiological tolerance, heterogeneous low concentration hypothesized to result in increased susceptibility through indirect selection on behavior, and a control with no exposure to permethrin, were maintained in 1-in3 cages in a greenhouse, for 33 generations. All life stages of the diamondback moth were exposed to the selection regimes, and new generations were started with a random selection of pupae from the previous generation. Lines selected with uniform high concentrations developed 76-fold levels of resistance to permethrin by the 17th generation, with little changes thereafter. For generations 1-20, lines selected with heterogeneous low concentrations remained slightly lower in LC50 but not significantly different from the unselected control lines. Based on confidence intervals from probit analyses, the LC50 of the lines selected with heterogeneous low concentration, however, were significantly lower than those of the control lines in generations 21-33. Our results demonstrate that selection on behavioral responses can result in greater susceptibility than no selection at all, despite exposure to the toxin and ample genetic variation and potential for increased physiological tolerance. The implications of our findings, which are based on selection scenarios that could take place in field situations, are that behavioral responses can prevent and even decrease the levels of resistance in insect populations, an important result with respect to resistance and resistance management.

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