The evolution of insecticide resistance in the peach-potato aphid, Myzus persicae

Chris Bass, Alin M. Puinean, C T Zimmer, Ian Denholm, LM Field, SP Foster, O Gutbrod, Ralf Nauen, R Slater, MS Williamson

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The peach potato aphid, Myzus persicae is a globally distributed crop pest with a host range of over 400
species including many economically important crop plants. The intensive use of insecticides to control
this species over many years has led to populations that are now resistant to several classes of insecticide.
Work spanning over 40 years has shown that M. persicae has a remarkable ability to evolve
mechanisms that avoid or overcome the toxic effect of insecticides with at least seven independent
mechanisms of resistance described in this species to date. The array of novel resistance mechanisms,
including several ‘first examples’, that have evolved in this species represents an important case study
for the evolution of insecticide resistance and also rapid adaptive change in insects more generally. In
this review we summarise the biochemical and molecular mechanisms underlying resistance in
M. persicae and the insights study of this topic has provided on how resistance evolves, the selectivity of
insecticides, and the link between resistance and host plant adaptation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-51
Number of pages11
JournalInsect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Early online date20 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2014


  • Myzus persicae
  • Esterase
  • P450
  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor
  • Votage-gated sodium channel


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