Entomology, Department of



Dariane Souza

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Meinke, L.J.; Souza, D.; Siegfried, B.D. The Use of Insecticides to Manage the Western Corn Rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera, LeConte: History, Field-Evolved Resistance, and Associated Mechanisms. Insects 2021, 12, 112. https://doi.org/10.3390/ insects12020112




The western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte (Dvv) is a significant insect pest of maize in the United States (U.S.). This paper reviews the history of insecticide use in Dvv management programs, Dvv adaptation to insecticides, i.e., field-evolved resistance and associated mechanisms of resistance, plus the current role of insecticides in the transgenic era. In the western U.S. Corn Belt where continuous maize is commonly grown in large irrigated monocultures, broadcast-applied soil or foliar insecticides have been extensively used over time to manage annual densities of Dvv and other secondary insect pests. This has contributed to the sequential occurrence of Dvv resistance evolution to cyclodiene, organophosphate, carbamate, and pyrethroid insecticides since the 1950s. Mechanisms of resistance are complex, but both oxidative and hydrolytic metabolism contribute to organophosphate, carbamate, and pyrethroid resistance facilitating cross-resistance between insecticide classes. History shows that Dvv insecticide resistance can evolve quickly and may persist in field populations even in the absence of selection. This suggests minimal fitness costs associated with Dvv resistance. In the transgenic era, insecticides function primarily as complementary tools with other Dvv management tactics to manage annual Dvv densities/crop injury and resistance over time.

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