The evolution of multiple-insecticide resistance in UK populations of tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta.
BACKGROUND: The tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta, is an economically important pest of tomatoes in Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. In the UK this species is controlled using an integrated pest management (IPM) programme which incorporates the insecticides spinosad and chlorantraniliprole. In response to UK grower concerns of loss of efficacy of these compounds at certain sites, insecticide bioassays were performed on five populations collected from four commercial glasshouses and potential mechanisms of resistance investigated. RESULTS: We observed high levels of resistance to spinosad in four of the strains, and in two of these tolerance to chlorantraniliprole. Selection of one of these strains with chlorantraniliprole rapidly resulted in a line exhibiting potent resistance to this compound. Sequencing of messenger RNA encoding the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) α6 subunit, target of spinosad, revealed Taα6 transcripts in the spinosad-resistant strains that lack exon 4 and encode a highly truncated protein, or contain a triplet deletion in the predicted first transmembrane domain resulting in the loss of a highly conserved amino acid. Sequencing of the ryanodine receptor gene, encoding the target of diamide insecticides, of the chlorantraniliprole-selected line revealed an amino acid substitution (G4903V) that has been previously linked to diamide resistance in populations of T. absoluta in the Mediterranean and South America. CONCLUSION: Taken together our results reveal emerging resistance in UK populations of T. absoluta to two of the most important insecticides used as part of IPM, with significant implications for the control of this species in the UK.