Entomology, Department of


Document Type


Date of this Version



Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology 164 (2020) 165–172



2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Western corn rootworm (WCR) pyrethroid resistance has been previously reported in the United States (US) western Corn Belt, and cross-resistance and synergism studies suggested that both target site insensitivity and enhanced metabolism may be conferring WCR resistance to pyrethroids. The present study aimed to investigate the potential mechanisms of WCR pyrethroid resistance and to estimate the heritability of the resistance trait. Biochemical assays using model substrates and spectrophotometry revealed 2–4-fold higher activity of P450s and esterases in pyrethroid-resistant WCR populations, whereas the biological activity of glutathione S-trans- ferase was similar between populations tested. No mutation in the voltage-gated sodium channel was detected in pyrethroid-resistant WCR individuals by sequencing PCR products containing the para-homologous L1014, T929, and M918 amino acid positions that are commonly associated with target site mutations in other pyre- throid-resistant insects. A pilot estimation of pyrethroid resistance heritability obtained during laboratory se- lection of a WCR population suggested a major genetic component of the resistance trait and predicted a 10-fold increase in WCR bifenthrin resistance within ~7 generations of insecticide lethal exposure. Results support earlier indirect evidence that enhanced metabolism may be contributing to WCR resistance to pyrethroids and illustrates the potential of WCR pyrethroid resistance evolution.

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