Indexed on: 22 Apr '10Published on: 22 Apr '10Published in: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Many insect pests have evolved resistance to insecticides. Along with this evolution, the sex pheromone communication system of insects also may change, and subsequently reproductive isolation may occur between resistant and susceptible populations. In this study of the diamondback moth, we found that resistant females (especially Abamectin resistant females) produced less sex pheromone and displayed a lower level of calling behavior. Resistant males showed higher EAG responsiveness to the sex pheromone mixture of females, and responded to a broader range of ratios between the two major components compared to the responses of susceptible moths. In addition, wind tunnel experiments indicated that changes associated with insecticide resistance in the Abamectin resistant strain (Aba-R) significantly reduced female attractiveness to susceptible males. Furthermore, mating choice experiments confirmed that non-random mating occurred between the two different strains. Aba-R females with an abnormal pheromone production and blend ratio exhibited significantly lower mating percentages with males from either their own strain or other strains, which corroborates the results obtained by the wind tunnel experiments. The implications of this non-random mating for insect speciation and insecticide resistance management are discussed.