Thrips tabaci is a key pest of onions, especially in the Pacific Northwestern USA. Management of T. tabaci is dominated by the application of various insecticides. However, T. tabaci is known to develop insecticide resistance which possibly leads to control failures, crop loss, and environmental concern. Here, we evaluated resistance status of T. tabaci populations from conventional and organic commercial onion fields to three widely used insecticides: oxamyl, methomyl, and abamectin with on-field concentration-mortality bioassays. The biochemistry and molecular mechanisms underlying resistance to these insecticides were also investigated by using enzymatic assays and detecting resistance-associated mutations. Field-evolved resistance to oxamyl, methomyl and abamectin were detected in most of the T. tabaci populations collected from conventional onion farms. At the labeled field rate, all the tested insecticides, particularly methomyl and oxamyl, had significantly reduced efficacy. Enzymatic assays of insecticide target and detoxification enzymes indicated that T. tabaci populations in Western USA onions harbor multiple mechanisms of resistance including enhanced activities of detoxification enzymes and target site insensitivity. Our results provide new information in understanding the dynamics of T. tabaci adaptation to multiple insecticides, which will help to design sustainable insecticide resistance management strategies for T. tabaci. Furthermore, this study provides the foundation for future research in identifying the biochemical and molecular markers associated with insecticide resistance in T. tabaci.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis