Aphid resistance grows

SERIOUS PROBLEM: Resistance to neonicotinoid insecticides has been confirmed in Australian populations of green peach aphid for the first time. Photo: A WEEKS

RESISTANCE to neonicotinoid insecticides has been confirmed in Australian populations of green peach aphid for the first time.

The discovery means that GPA is known to have resistance to four different chemical mode of action groups – synthetic pyrethroids, carbamates, organophosphates and neonics.

GPA is a widespread pest of canola and a range of pulse crops, causing damage by feeding and transmitting viruses, including Beet Western Yellows Virus, which decimated canola crops in parts of SA, Vic and NSW in 2014.

Resistance to neonics – commonly used in the grains industry in seed treatments – was recently confirmed by scientists involved in research undertaken on behalf of the GRDCand Horticulture Innovation Australia.

The work has been led by Melbourne-based scientific research organisation cesar, in collaboration with researchers at CSIRO.

According to cesar entomologist Paul Umina, resistance to neonics was confirmed in a number of GPA populations across Australia.

Aphid specimens taken from canola and vegetable crops tested positive for resistance.

Dr Umina says the discovery – while not unexpected – further limits the opportunities and options for control of GPA and underlines the need for sound management resistance strategies and integrated pest management practices to ensure long-term access to available chemistries.

“Our findings don’t mean that neonics are dead in the water; they are still a valuable tool,” he said.

“But the discovery does serve as a reminder that all chemicals are vulnerable to resistance development, particularly when dealing with a species like GPA which is known to have a high propensity to develop insecticide resistance.”

Dr Umina says Transform, a sulfoxaflor foliar insecticide, remains an effective means to control GPA in canola crops.

According to cesar senior consultant Siobhan de Little, resistance almost always evolved due to the over-reliance on a particular chemical leading to strong selection.

The discovery meantAustralia joinedfour other continents – North America, Asia, Europe and Africa – in having confirmed GPA resistance to neonics, she said.

Dr Umina encourages growers to continue to follow the GPA Resistance Management Strategy (grdc苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛/GPAResistanceStrategy), which aims to minimise the selection pressure for resistance in GPA.

This strategy was developed by the National Insecticide Resistance Management working group of the Grains Pest Advisory Committee –a GRDC-funded project which provides strategic advice to the GRDC on pest issues.

Dr Umina also urges growers to keep a close eye on next year’s canola crops as they establish.

“If aphids are seen surviving on young canola plants that have been treated with neonic insecticide seed treatments, growers are urged to contact cesar,” he said.

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