Determination of baseline susceptibility of European populations of Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) to indoxacarb and chlorantraniliprole using a novel dip bioassay method


Correspondence to: Emmanouil Roditakis, National Agricultural Research Foundation, Plant Protection Institute of Heraklion, PO Box 2228, 71003 Heraklion, Greece. E-mail:


BACKGROUND: Tuta absoluta(Meyrick) is one of the most serious pests of tomato recently introduced in the Mediterranean region. A novel bioassay method designed for the accurate determination of insecticide toxicity on T. absoluta (IRAC method No. 022) was validated by three different laboratories [Greece (NAGREF), Italy (UC) and Spain (UPCT)] on European populations.

RESULTS: The insecticides indoxacarb and chlorantraniliprole were used as reference products. The IRAC leaf dip method is easy to perform, producing repeatable, homogeneous responses. LC50 values for indoxacarb ranged between 1.8 and 17.9 mg L−1 (NAGREF), 0.93 and 10.8 mg L−1 (UC) and 0.20 and 0.70 mg L−1 (UPCT), resulting in a tenfold, 12-fold and fourfold difference between the least and most susceptible populations at each laboratory respectively. For chlorantraniliprole, LC50 values ranged between 0.10 and 0.56 mg L−1 (NAGREF), 0.23 and 1.34 mg L−1 (UC) and 0.04 and 0.24 mg L−1 (UPCT), resulting in a sixfold difference in all three cases. Overall, UPCT reported lower mean LC50 to indoxacarb, while UC reported higher LC50 to chlorantraniliprole.

CONCLUSIONS: The new bioassay is reliable, providing a useful tool in the design of IRM strategies. Within each country/lab, the variability observed in the results for both indoxacarb and chlorantraniliprole can be attributed to natural variation. Future research is necessary to determine the extent to which it is possible to compare results among laboratories. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry