Fitness costs of pyrethroid resistance in the polyphagous pest mite, Halotydeus destructor, under field conditions

Paul A. Umina, James L. Maino, Owain Edwards, Xuan Cheng, Matthew Binns, Anthony van Rooyen, Sue Vern Song, Andrew Weeks, Aston L. Arthur, Olivia L. Reynolds, Ary A. Hoffmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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The redlegged earth mite, Halotydeus destructor, is an economically important pest of winter field crops and pastures in Australia, and has evolved field resistance to pyrethroid chemicals through a polymorphism in the voltage-gated parasodium channel leading to knockdown resistance (kdr). In this study, we quantified the rate of reversion to susceptibility of partially resistant H. destructor populations under field conditions in the absence of pesticide exposure. This was conducted over multiple years at two geographically distant locations with mite populations known to possess pyrethroid resistance. Fitness costs associated with pyrethroid resistance were identified through reductions in the frequency of kdr resistance alleles in the absence of pesticides. This was assessed using an amplicon sequencing approach targeting known resistance alleles. We also found that resistance can increase rapidly in frequency after only a single pyrethroid application in the field. Our results highlight that, once established in H. destructor populations, pyrethroid resistance will not easily be lost even after several years, emphasizing the importance of limiting the evolution of resistance in the first place. This helps to explain why pyrethroid resistance in H. destructor continues to persist at very high frequencies in the field and continues to expand within Australia despite the existence of fitness costs. Understanding field fitness costs associated with pesticide resistance is important when devising resistance management strategies for this pest.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-197
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Pest Science
Issue number1
Early online dateMar 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


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