Changes in the susceptibility and detoxifying enzyme activity were measured in laboratory strains of Banks grass mite, Oligonychus pratensis (Banks), and twospotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch, that were repeatedly exposed to three insecticides. Three strains of each mite species were exposed to one of two pyrethroids, bifenthrin, and λ-cyhalothrin, or an organophosphate, dimethoate, for 10 selection cycles at the LC60 for each insecticide. A reference or nonselected strain of each mite species was not exposed to insecticides. After 10 cycles of exposure, susceptibility to the corresponding insecticides, bifenthrin, λ-cyhalothrin, and dimethoate, decreased 4.5-, 5.9-, and 289.2-fold, respectively, relative to the reference strain in the respective O. pratensis strains, and 14.8-, 5.7-, and 104.7-fold, respectively, relative to the reference strain in the respective T. urticae strains. In the bifenthrin-exposed O. pratensis strain, there was a 88.9-fold cross-resistance to dimethoate. In the dimethoate-exposed T. urticae strain, there was a 15.9-fold cross-resistance to bifenthrin. These results suggest that there may be cross-resistance between dimethoate and bifenthrin. The reduced susceptibility to dimethoate remained stable for three months in the absence of selection pressure in both mites. The decrease in susceptibility in the O. pratensis strains exposed to bifenthrin, λ-cyhalothrin, and dimethoate was associated with a 4.7-, 3.0-, and 3.6-fold increase in general esterase activity, respectively. The decrease in susceptibility in the T. urticae strains exposed to bifenthrin and λ-cyhalothrin was associated with a 1.3- and 1.1-fold increase in general esterase activity, respectively. The mean general esterase activity was significantly higher in the pyrethroid-exposed O. pratensis and T. urticae strains than in the nonselected strain. There was no significant increase in esterase activity in the dimethoate-exposed T. urticae strain. The decrease in susceptibility to insecticides was also associated with reduced glutathione S-transferase 1-chloro-2, 4-dinitrobenzene conjugation activity, but this did not appear to be related to changes in insecticide susceptibility. These results suggest that in these mites, the general esterases may play a role in conferring resistance to pyrethroids. However, some other untested mechanism, such as target site insensitivity, must be involved in conferring dimethoate resistance.
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