AgronomyInsectsStudy Explains Neonicotinoid Resistance in CPBs

Study Explains Neonicotinoid Resistance in CPBs


A new study has found when Colorado Potato Beetles (CPBs) receive even small doses of the neonicotinoid pesticide, imidacloprid, it can alter how the beetle manages its DNA, published in the December edition of the journal Evolutionary Applications, says.

The team of researchers led by Yolanda Chen from the University of Vermont found the beetle doesn’t change its underlying genetic code, instead CPBs alter the regulation of their DNA, turning certain genes on or off in a process called “DNA methylation.” This allows the beetles too quickly ramp up biological defence mechanisms.

The flush of enzymes or faster rate of excretion may allow CPBs to stop each new pesticide with the same ancient biochemical tools it uses to overcome natural plant defences — instead of gene mutations which slowly causes pesticides to become less effective, the study notes.

“We found the same DNA methylation patterns in the grandkid generation. That was surprising because they were not exposed to the insecticide,” says Chen in a news release about the study.

In several other insect species, exposure to pesticides has been shown to change DNA methylation, the study notes.

“It’s long been assumed that epigenetics resets during sexual reproduction,” Kristian Brevik, the lead author on the new study who completed his doctoral degree working in Chen’s lab, says in a news release. “That those changes could be transmitted, through multiple rounds of sexual reproduction, to future generations of insects — that’s new.”

Trending This Week

Potato pile fan

Condensation — Great on Icy Brews in Summer, Terrible in Potato Storage

Few things are more satisfying than sitting with a cold drink on a hot day. The same process that causes condensation on an icy...
SLM Spud Farms

Experimenting with Regen Ag with on the Farm Agronomists

We try a little bit of everything when it comes to regenerative agriculture. With our production system it makes it easier to check off...
Potato School

Potato School – Is It On Your Calendar?

WHAT — Potato School is a half day, free-to-all virtual learning event hosted by TriCal Group for anyone in the potato business. Since soil-borne disease...
Cover crop of rye and peas

Improving Our Soil Health for the Future

At our family farm, Swansfleet, in Bruxelles, Man. quality has always been the driving force behind everything we do. Lately, that drive for quality...
Pile of garbage

Unnecessary Storage Waste Chewing into Revenue and Sustainability

If you could make a big step towards improving sustainability – both environmental sustainability and your farm business’ financial viability – what would make...