Several strains of Bacillus sphaericus (Neide) (Bsph), a spore-forming bacterium that produces potent mosquitocidal toxins, have been widely used against mosquito larvae globally. In some locations in the field and in the laboratory, moderate to high levels of resistance in Culex pipiens complex mosquito larvae to Bsph have been reported. Practical strategies for dealing with the resistance problem and more importantly to delay or possibly prevent development of resistance to Bsph in the first place are urgently needed. From published reports, we deduced that Bsph-resistant mosquito larvae are completely susceptible to Bacillus thuringiensis ssp. isreaelensis (Bti) and that there is no appearance of cross-resistance to Bti. On the basis of this information, we hypothesized that Bti offers a good potential for the management of resistance to Bsph, especially when it comes to delaying or preventing emergence of resistance. We conducted laboratory studies to see whether rotation of Bsph and Bti or mixture of both delays or prevents resistance development in Bsph-susceptible California Cx. quinquefasciatus. Development of resistance using Bsph alone increased after F15 and fluctuated slightly on further selections. Rotation of Bsph and Bti resulted in much higher level and rapid emergence of resistance to Bsph. However, selection with mixtures of Bti and Bsph for 36 generations showed no emergence of resistance. On the basis of this information, we believe mixtures have a good potential in delaying or preventing Bsph resistance.
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Vol. 40 • No. 5