Monitoring of target-site mutations conferring insecticide resistance in Spodoptera frugiperda.
Fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda, a major pest of corn and native to the Americas, recently invaded (sub)tropical regions worldwide. The intensive use of insecticides and the high adoption of crops expressing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) proteins has led to many cases of resistance. Target-site mutations are among the main mechanisms of resistance and monitoring their frequency is of great value for insecticide resistance management. Pyrosequencing and PCR-based allelic discrimination assays were developed and used to genotype target-site resistance alleles in 34 FAW populations from different continents. The diagnostic methods revealed a high frequency of mutations in acetylcholinesterase, conferring resistance to organophosphates and carbamates. In voltage-gated sodium channels targeted by pyrethroids, only one population from Indonesia showed a mutation. No mutations were detected in the ryanodine receptor, suggesting susceptibility to diamides. Indels in the ATP-binding cassette transporter C2 associated with Bt-resistance were observed in samples collected in Puerto Rico and Brazil. Additionally, we analyzed all samples for the presence of markers associated with two sympatric FAW host plant strains. The molecular methods established show robust results in FAW samples collected across a broad geographical range and can be used to support decisions for sustainable FAW control and applied resistance management.