Beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua (Hübner), is a worldwide pest of many crops. Chemical insecticides are heavily used for its control in China, and serious resistance has been evolved in the field to a variety of insecticides including emamectin benzoate. Through repeated backcrossing to a susceptible strain (WH-S) and selection with emamectin benzoate, the trait conferring resistance to emamectin benzoate in a field-collected population of S. exigua (moderately resistant to emamectin benzoate and strongly resistant to pyrethroids and indoxacarb) was introgressed into WH-S to generate a near-isogenic resistant strain (WH-EB). Compared with WH-S, the WH-EB strain developed a 1,110-fold resistance to emamectin benzoate and a high level of cross-resistance to abamectin (202-fold), with low levels of cross-resistance to cypermethrin (10-fold) and chlorfluazuron (7-fold), but no crossresistance to representatives of another six different classes of insecticides (chlorantraniliprole, chlorfenapyr, indoxacarb, spinosad, tebufenozide, and chlorpyrifos). Resistance to emamectin benzoate in WH-EB was autosomal, incompletely dominant, and polygenic. Limited cross-resistance in WH-EB indicates that emamectin benzoate can be rotated with other classes of insecticides to which it does not show cross-resistance to delay the evolution of resistance in S. exigua. The incompletely dominant nature of resistance in S. exigua may explain the rapid evolution of resistance to emamectin benzoate in the field, and careful deployment of this chemical within a resistance management program should be considered.
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Vol. 108 • No. 4