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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Insecticide Resistance Management and New Control Strategies for Pests of Corn, Cotton, Sorghum, Soybean, and Sweet Potato

Location: Southern Insect Management Research Unit

2012 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The long-term objective of this project is to develop an improved understanding of how the changing cropping landscape impacts insecticide resistance development and management of various insect pest species in order to increase profitability and sustainability of mid-South row crops.

Objective 1: Improve tarnished plant bug control and insecticide resistance management by gaining new information on the pest’s ecology and biology using multi-disciplinary approaches, e.g. molecular genetic tools, stable carbon isotope analysis, gene expression and proteomics, and insecticide resistance assays coupled with field sampling.

Objective 2: Determine the effect of bollworm ecology (corn earworm) on resistance to pyrethroid insecticides by developing and utilizing genetic markers linked to resistance traits, stable carbon isotope analysis, gossypol detection in adult insects, and insecticide resistance monitoring.

Objective 3: Develop pest control strategies for the U.S. Mid-South’s Early Soybean Production System by determining accurate treatment thresholds, understanding the impact of changing cropping systems on farm-scale pest ecology, and developing effective insecticide resistance management practices for the stink bug complex, three-cornered alfalfa hopper, bean leaf beetle and soybean looper.

Objective 4: Improve low input systems of pest control for sweet potato by evaluating the efficacy and proper use of newly registered insecticides to enhance their integration with crop rotation and other low cost control strategies.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
ARS scientists plan to improve tarnished plant bug control and insecticide resistance management by gaining new information on the pest’s ecology and biology using multi-disciplinary approaches. Analytical techniques, such as stable carbon isotope analysis, will be used to determine the influence of C4 host plants, such as field corn or pigweed, on populations of tarnished plant bug adults infesting cotton fields. This information will identify sources of tarnished plant bugs that may lead to alternative control measures prior to infestations into cotton fields. Tarnished plant bug populations will be monitored for resistance to various classes of insecticides commonly used by mid-South producers. This will provide real-time information to decision makers that will allow them to adjust their control recommendations based on the type of resistance that is found in their area of the mid-South. Detoxification enzyme activity surveys will be conducted in an effort to correlate and quantify insecticide resistance levels in field populations of the tarnished plant bug. Molecular genetics techniques will be conducted on tarnished plant bug populations that could lead to assays to evaluate the extent of field resistance in tarnished plant bug populations and provide input for insect management decisions. We also plan to determine the effect of bollworm ecology (corn earworm) on resistance to pyrethroid insecticides. Analytical techniques, such as stable carbon isotope analysis and a gossypol detection technique, will be used to determine the impact of bollworm larval plant host on pyrethroid resistance levels measured in adults collected from pheromone traps. Molecular genetics tools will be used to identify candidate genes and biological pathways associated with insecticide resistance in bollworm populations. Successful identification of loci associated with insecticide resistance and the development of genetic markers for those will provide a method to obtain quantitative estimates of field evolved resistance by estimating the allele frequencies via population studies. ARS scientists will also develop pest control strategies for the U.S. Mid-South’s Early Soybean Production System by determining accurate treatment thresholds and developing effective insecticide resistance management practices for the stink bug complex and bollworm. Field studies will be conducted to evaluate treatment thresholds for stink bugs and bollworms in early season soybeans. Stink bug populations will be monitored for potential resistance to various classes of insecticides, and this effort will provide real-time information to decision makers regarding the proper use of insecticides for control of these pests. ARS scientists also plan to improve low input systems of pest control for sweet potato by evaluating the efficacy and proper use of newly registered insecticides to enhance their integration with crop rotation and other low cost control strategies. Field and laboratory studies will be conducted to determine the impact of crop rotation on populations of insect pests of sweet potatoes, as well as information of insecticide efficacy and proper application techniques.


3.Progress Report:
For tarnished plant bug (TPB), contribution of pigweed and corn to adult populations within cotton fields can now be estimated using stable isotope analyses. Initial estimates indicate that ~80-90% of TPB adults collected from cotton fields in the Mississippi Delta during late June and early July completed nymphal development on a C4 host, primarily field corn. This may provide an opportunity to manage TPB populations prior to movement into cotton. Insecticide resistance monitoring in TPB populations indicated that control issues with acephate and pyrethroids will continue. TPB populations continue to be susceptible to thiamethoxam, imidacloprid, and novaluron. MS producers and consultants utilize this information when selecting insecticides for TPB control. TPB transcriptome sequence reads and their assemblies were made available to the public by depositing in the National Center for Biotechnology Information database. More than 200 xenobiotic processing gene transcripts were identified, and sequences were deposited in the database. Over 20,000 polymorphic genetic markers in expressed gene transcripts were also identified. Analysis of 6,688 genes of TPB using microarray revealed 6 esterase, 3 P450, and one glutathione S-transferase (GST) gene(s) that were significantly up-regulated. Economic and ecological impacts of wide-scale adoption of Bt cotton and insecticide use on grower profits and perceived risks of bollworm (BW) damage are being measured. These impacts have potential influence on BW resistance evolution to insecticides and Bt toxins. Pyrethroid susceptibility estimates in BW across the cotton belt did not vary from those generated during the previous three years; however, pyrethroid susceptibility estimates over the last 4 years have generally decreased compared to estimates generated during the late 1990’s. No patterns of pyrethroid or Bt susceptibility were identified in BW collected from different cropping landscapes. BW genomic sequences (n=392) containing xenobiotic processing genes and insecticide targets were identified by sequencing a BCA library. Over 23,000 microsatellite markers were identified from the genome of the BW. Sequencing and assembly of the BW transcriptome were completed, and microarrays were developed for gene expression analysis. In soybeans, stink bug species were surveyed across the MS Delta to document temporal and spatial dynamics of stink bug populations. Late-instar stink bug nymphs (green, southern green, and redbanded) were approximately twice as tolerant as adults when tested against organophosphorus or pyrethroid insecticides. Early stage nymphs should be targeted for insecticidal control. Tracking wireworm populations in sweetpotato and corn is providing new information on the impact of these soil-inhabiting pests on sweetpotato damage and crop rotation influences. Preplant applications of chlothianidin, chlorpyrifos, and imidacloprid reduced sugarcane beetle damage to sweetpotato in a large field cage study. Chlorpyrifos applications had no effect on reniform nematode populations in a study with insecticides applied alone and in combination with potassium N-methyldithiocarbamate.


Review Publications
He, Y., Zhang, J., Chen, J., Wu, Q., Chen, L., Chen, L., Xiao, P., Zhu, Y. 2011. Influence of pymetrozine on feeding behaviors of three rice planthoppers and a rice leafhopper using electrical penetration graphs. Journal of Economic Entomology. 104(6):1877-1884.

Yang, Y., Zhu, Y., Ottea, J., Husseneder, C., Leonard, R., Abel, C.A., Luttrell, R.G., Huang, F. 2011. Down regulation of a gene for cadherin but not alkaline phosphatase associated with Cry1Ab resistance in the sugarcane borer Diatraea saccharalis. PLoS One. 6(10):e25783. doi:10.137/journal.pone.0025783.

Allen, K.C., Luttrell, R.G. 2011. Temporal and spatial distribution of Helicoverpa zea and Heliothis virescens (Lepidoptera: noctuidae) moths in pheromone traps across agricultural landscapes in Arkansas. Journal of Entomological Science. 46(4):269-283.

Snodgrass, G.L., Jackson, R.E., Perera, O.P., Allen, K.C., Luttrell, R.G. 2011. Utilization of tall goldenrod by the tarnished plant bug (Hemiptera: Miridae) in the production of overwintering adults and as a possible winter food source. Southwestern Entomologist. 3:225-232.

Zhu, Y., West, S.J., Snodgrass, G.L., Luttrell, R.G. 2011. Variability in resistance-related enzyme activities in field populations of the tarnished plant bug, Lygus lineolaris. Journal of Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology. 99(3):265-273.

He, Y., Chen, L., Chen, J., Zhang, J., Chen, L., Shen, J., Zhu, Y. 2011. Electrical penetration graphic evidence of pymetrozine toxicity to the rice brown planthopperis by inibition of phloem feeding. Pest Management Science. 67(4):483-491.

Zhu, Y., Guo, Z., He, Y., Luttrell, R.G. 2012. Microarray analysis of gene regulations and potential association with acephate-resistance and fitness cost in Lygus lineola. PLoS One. 7(5):e37586.doi:10.137/journal.pone.0037586.

Zhao, X., He, Z., He, Y., Shen, J., Su, J., Gao, C., Zhu, Y. 2011. Differential resistance and cross-resistance to three phenylpyrazole insecticides in the Brown Planthopper Nilaparvata lugens (Homoptera: Delphacidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 104(4):1364-1368.

Jun, Z., Yueping, H., Gao, M., Weijun, Z., Hu, J., Shen, J., Zhu, Y. 2011. Photodegradation of emamectin benzoate and its influence on efficacy against the rice stem borer Chilo suppressalis. Crop Protection Journal. 30:1356-1362.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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