Stilbene-derived optical brighteners can markedly enhance the insecticidal activity of certain baculoviruses. We evaluated the influence of an optical brightener on the rate at which Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) developed resistance to nucleopolyhedrovirus (SfMNPV). Two laboratory colonies of S. frugiperda were inoculated with an LC50 of SfMNPV, in the absence or presence of the optical brightener Tinopal LPW (0.1%), over a period of two and 11 generations, in the first and second experiment, respectively. Compared with the initial susceptibility of the insect colony, resistance ratios of 11- and 12-fold were observed after two generations of treatment with SfMNPV Tinopal LPW and SfMNPV alone. Similar, but variable degrees of resistance were observed in the long-term experiment with resistance ratios of 8- to 35-fold after seven to 11 generations. The presence of Tinopal LPW alone, or in mixtures with SfMNPV, did not cause any systematic change in insect resistance in either experiment. At the end of the long-term experiment, debilitating effects on pupal weight, adult fecundity, and longevity were observed in the insects exposed to Tinopal LPW alone or in mixtures with SfMNPV, but the pattern of such effects among treatments differed in each generation. We conclude that optical brighteners are unlikely to affect the rate of development of resistance to nucleopolyhedroviruses applied as biological insecticides.
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Vol. 97 • No. 4