Resistance to methyl-parathion among Nebraska western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, populations is associated with increased hydrolytic metabolism of an organophosphate insecticide substrate. An electrophoretic method to identify resistant individuals based on the staining intensity of esterase isozymes on nondenaturing polyacrylamide gels was developed. Three groups of esterases (I, II, and III) were visible on the gels, but only group II esterase isozymes were intensified in resistant populations. A total of 26 and 31 field populations of western corn rootworms from Nebraska (in 1998 and 1999, respectively) were assessed with nondenaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) assays and diagnostic concentration bioassays. Significant correlations were observed between the two diagnostic assays. Group II esterase isozymes provide a reliable biochemical marker for detection of methyl-parathion resistance in individual western corn rootworms and a tool for monitoring the frequency of resistant individuals in field populations.
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Vol. 95 • No. 6