• imidacloprid;
  • insecticide resistance;
  • neonicotinoid;
  • Bemisia tabaci;
  • whiteflies;
  • P450;
  • monooxygenase;
  • age specific


Neonicotinoid insecticides retain a crucial role within many chemical and integrated control strategies for the tobacco whitefly, Bemisia tabaci Gennadius, in spite of the establishment of potent and widespread resistance in many areas. Metabolic resistance mechanisms mediated by overexpression of P450-dependent monooxygenases have been implicated in neonicotinoid resistance in the two most prevalent B. tabaci biotypes. Further characterisation of resistance to the neonicotinoid imidacloprid in populations of both these B- and Q-types is reported.

Expression of resistance to imidacloprid was age specific in B- and Q-type strains of B. tabaci. The highest observed resistance ratio at LC50 expressed in prepupal nymphs was 13, compared with at least 580 in their adult counterparts. For all strains, resistance expressed in immatures was not sufficiently potent to compromise recommended imidacloprid application rates.

Targeting neonicotinoids towards immature life stages of B. tabaci may circumvent the protection conferred by current mechanisms of resistance, simultaneously reducing the selection pressures imposed. However, such tactics may enhance the expression of existing resistance mechanisms in immatures, or promote the establishment of novel ones expressed in all life stages. Copyright © 2008 Society of Chemical Industry