Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Entomologists update definitions to tackle resistance to biotech crops and pesticides

March 03, 2014
Resistance to pesticides has now been recorded in nearly a thousand pest species, including more than 500 insects, 218 weeds, and 190 fungi that attack plants. The recorded cases of resistance in insects, mites and other arthropods, which include resistance to multiple pesticides per species, more than doubled from 5,141 in 1990 to 11,254 in 2013. A first step in tackling this growing global problem is establishing a common vocabulary, because the current jumble of terms fosters confusion among scientists in academia, industry and government. To address this issue, five entomologists from the University of Arizona and Michigan State University updated definitions for 50 key terms related to resistance in a new article in the Journal of Economic Entomology (DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/EC13458).

"The lack of a modern glossary for resistance was recently brought to our attention by an initiative of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeking input on definitions of terms about resistance," said Dr. Mark Whalon, one of the co-authors from Michigan State University, who directs the online Arthropod Pesticide Resistance Database and who also serves as the Entomological Society of America's Liaison to the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs. "We provide a list of 50 key resistance terms and definitions aimed at facilitating understanding and management of resistance."

The authors favor definitions that promote proactive detection and management of resistance, such as resistance defined as "a genetically based decrease in susceptibility to a pesticide." They contrast this with an alternative definition used by some industry scientists that requires "repeated failure of a product to achieve the expected level of control," which generally occurs only after it's too late to respond most effectively.

The stakes are especially high for defining and managing insect resistance to corn and cotton plants genetically engineered to produce proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). These proteins kill some key pests, but are not toxic to people, wildlife, or even most insects. Organic growers have used Bt toxins in sprays for decades, and conventional farmers have widely adopted transgenic Bt crops since 1996. In 2013, Bt corn and Bt cotton were planted on 187 million acres worldwide and accounted for 75% of all cotton and 76% of all corn grown in the U.S.

Recognizing that resistance is not "all or none" and that intermediate levels of resistance can have a continuum of effects on pest control, the authors describe five categories of field-evolved resistance and use them to classify 13 cases of resistance to five Bt toxins in transgenic corn and cotton based on monitoring data from five continents for nine major pest species.

Emerging resistance of the western corn rootworm to Bt corn exemplifies the urgent need for well-defined resistance terms. The cost of this insidious beetle to U.S. corn growers has been estimated at one billion dollars annually. In 2003, to reduce costs and cut back on soil insecticides, U.S. farmers began planting Bt corn that kills rootworms.

"The first evidence of rootworm resistance to Bt corn was discovered in Iowa in 2009," said Dr. Bruce Tabashnik, the study's lead author and head of the entomology department at the University of Arizona. "Nearly five years later, the resistance has spread but decisive regulatory action by the EPA is still stalled, in part because an effective definition of resistance is lacking in this case."

Although some scientists have expressed concern that reports of pest resistance to Bt crops provide 'ammunition' to anti-biotech activists, Tabashnik said "Pests are remarkably adaptable. They usually evolve resistance to any tactic that's used repeatedly to control them, so this problem is not limited to transgenic crops." Noting that insects have been evolving resistance to natural plant defenses for millions of years and that this year marks the 100th anniversary of the first reported case of insecticide resistance, he concludes, "Finding ways to delay resistance is a never-ending challenge with any pest management approach."

Entomological Society of America


Related Pesticides Current Events and Pesticides News Articles


Pesticides not the sole culprit in honey bee colony declines
Colony declines are a major threat to the world's honey bees, as well as the many wild plants and crops the bees pollinate.

Researchers describe 5 new species of marine invertebrates
Brazilian researchers described five new species of ascidians, commonly known as sea squirts, ascidians are marine invertebrates that generally form permanently submerged colonies.

Oregon researchers detail new insights on arsenic cycling
University of Oregon geologist Qusheng Jin initially labeled his theory "A Wild Hypothesis." Now his study of arsenic cycling in a southern Willamette Valley aquifer is splashing with potential significance for arsenic-compromised aquifers around the world.

Pens filled with high-tech inks for do-it-yourself sensors
A new simple tool developed by nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego, is opening the door to an era when anyone will be able to build sensors, anywhere, including physicians in the clinic, patients in their home and soldiers in the field.

Fighting the Colorado potato beetle with RNA interference
Colorado potato beetles are a dreaded pest of potatoes all over the world. Since they do not have natural enemies in most potato producing regions, farmers try to control them with pesticides.

Agricultural insecticides pose a global risk to surface water bodies
Streams within approx. 40% of the global land surface are at risk from the application of insecticides.

Common pesticide may increase risk of ADHD
A commonly used pesticide may alter the development of the brain's dopamine system -- responsible for emotional expression and cognitive function - and increase the risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children, according to a new Rutgers study.

Study by CU researcher finds everyday exposure to chemicals could trigger early menopause
Women who are exposed to certain chemicals are more likely to experience menopause at a younger age, according to a newly published study by a researcher from the University of Colorado School of Medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus.

Researchers identify natural plant compounds that work against insects
Each year millions of deaths result from diseases transmitted by insects. Insects are also responsible for major economic losses, worth billions of dollars annually, by damaging crops and stored agricultural products.

A honey bee hive tells all
Exactly what plants do honey bees visit on their daily forages for food in rural Madison County, Ohio? A research team led by Dr. Reed Johnson from The Ohio State University has found that the answer lies in pollen DNA.
More Pesticides Current Events and Pesticides News Articles

The Myths of Safe Pesticides

The Myths of Safe Pesticides
by André Leu (Author)


The chemical-based conventional agriculture industry claims that the synthesized concoctions they sell as pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides are safe when used as directed, but does the scientific evidence truly support their assertions? Organic agriculturist and lecturer André Leu delves into a wealth of respected scientific journals to present the peer-reviewed evidence that proves the claims of chemical companies and pesticide regulators are not all they seem. Leu translates technical jargon into layman s terms to break down the five most-repeated myths about pesticide safety, refuting them using scientific data. The pesticide industry argues that agriculture, and the global population itself, cannot survive without its products, but Leu warns that we are at risk unless we break...

Banned: A History of Pesticides and the Science of Toxicology

Banned: A History of Pesticides and the Science of Toxicology
by Frederick Rowe Davis (Author)


Rachel Carson’s eloquent book Silent Spring stands as one of the most important books of the twentieth century and inspired important and long-lasting changes in environmental science and government policy. Frederick Rowe Davis thoughtfully sets Carson’s study in the context of the twentieth century, reconsiders her achievement, and analyzes its legacy in light of toxic chemical use and regulation today.
 
Davis examines the history of pesticide development alongside the evolution of the science of toxicology and tracks legislation governing exposure to chemicals across the twentieth century. He affirms the brilliance of Carson’s careful scientific interpretations drawing on data from university and government toxicologists. Although Silent Spring instigated legislation that...

Our Daily Poison: From Pesticides to Packaging, How Chemicals Have Contaminated the Food Chain and Are Making Us Sick

Our Daily Poison: From Pesticides to Packaging, How Chemicals Have Contaminated the Food Chain and Are Making Us Sick
by Marie-Monique Robin (Author), Allison Schein (Translator), Lara Vergnaud (Translator)


Over the last thirty years, we have seen an increase in rates of cancer, neurodegenerative disease, reproductive disorders, and diabetes, particularly in developed countries. At the same time, since the end of World War II approximately 100,000 synthetic chemical molecules have invaded our environment—and our food chain. In Our Daily Poison, award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker Marie-Monique Robin investigates the links between these two concerning trends, revealing how corporate interests and our ignorance about these invisible poisons may be costing us our lives.

The result of a rigorous two-year-long investigation that took Robin across three continents (North America, Europe, and Asia), Our Daily Poison documents the many ways in which we encounter a shocking...

The Pesticide Encyclopedia

The Pesticide Encyclopedia
by Kalyani Paranjape (Editor), Vasant Gowariker (Editor), V. N. Krishnamurthy (Editor), Sudha Gowariker (Editor)


In today's world, food security is an important issue. Food shortages push prices up, impacting upon the health and well-being of hundreds of millions of rural poor across the globe. One way to increase food security is to decrease the amount of yield lost to pests. The Pesticide Encyclopedia provides a comprehensive overview of the fight against pests, covering chemical pesticides, biocontrol agents and biopesticides. It also covers interrelated topics such as pesticide toxicity, legislation and regulation, handling, storage and safety aspects, IPM techniques, resistance management, interaction of pesticides with soil and the environment.

An important reference for policy makers, advisers and students and researchers of crop science, this book also includes useful notes on...

The Pesticide Conspiracy

The Pesticide Conspiracy
by Robert Van Den Bosch (Author)


Professor van den Bosch of the University of California was one of the developers of Integrated Pest Management—the use of biological controls, improved pest knowledge and observation, and judicious application of chemicals only when absolutely necessary. His research often suggested that less or no pesticides should be applied, which made him the target of both open and clandestine attack from industry and government figures. In protest, he wrote this passionate account of what Ecology called "the ultimate social disaster of: evolving pesticide-resistant insects, the destruction of their natural predators and parasites, emergent populations of new insect pests, downstream water pollution, atmospheric pollution, the 'accidental' killing of wildlife and people, and the bankruptcies of...

Pesticides: Chemicals That Kill

Pesticides: Chemicals That Kill
by Choice PH


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claims there is adequate protection from over exposure to toxic pesticides. That claim may be true for the average consumer who carefully washes fruits and vegetables, but it is definitely not true for farm and ranch workers, especially in developing countries.

This eBook examines the various types of pesticides used in our food supply and the possible ill effects of those chemicals to humans and the environment. We discuss the economic impact of using pesticides versus organic farming, and the primary and secondary benefits of pesticide use.

The Pesticide Manual: A World Compendium

The Pesticide Manual: A World Compendium
by C. MacBean (Editor)


The sixteenth edition of The Pesticide Manual provides the most comprehensive information on active ingredients for the control of crop pests in the world. Completely revised and updated, the latest edition contains 1,436 profiles and over 2,600 products, details of 45 additional synthetic molecules and the first approvals under EU 2011 legislation.

Basic Guide to Pesticides: Their Characteristics and Hazards

Basic Guide to Pesticides: Their Characteristics and Hazards
by Rachel Carson Counsel Inc. (Author)


This work contains physical properties of over 700 pesticides and transformation products and contaminants. It can be used by the layman with minor questions or by the specialist needing in-depth references. Facts have been arranged so that one does not have to read through lengthy material.

Pesticide Drift and the Pursuit of Environmental Justice (Food, Health, and the Environment)

Pesticide Drift and the Pursuit of Environmental Justice (Food, Health, and the Environment)
by Jill Lindsey Harrison (Author)


The widespread but virtually invisible problem of pesticide drift--the airborne movement of agricultural pesticides into residential areas--has fueled grassroots activism from Maine to Hawaii. Pesticide drift accidents have terrified and sickened many living in the country's most marginalized and vulnerable communities. In this book, Jill Lindsey Harrison considers political conflicts over pesticide drift in California, using them to illuminate the broader problem and its potential solutions. The fact that pesticide pollution and illnesses associated with it disproportionately affect the poor and the powerless raises questions of environmental justice (and...

33 Ways To Kill Pests Without Pesticides Kill Any Insect, Spider or Bug Fast With All Natural Pest Control Methods (Organic Pest Control Book 9)

33 Ways To Kill Pests Without Pesticides Kill Any Insect, Spider or Bug Fast With All Natural Pest Control Methods (Organic Pest Control Book 9)
by Pest Control Group


How To Kill Any Bugs Without Pesticides or Toxic Chemicals>

Learn The Secrets of a Pest Control Expert Who Knows The Power of Organic Pest Control

Everything you've been taught about killing insects and pests is wrong! Learn how to:

Create Effective Baits To Kill Cockroaches, Termites and Other Bugs
In 10 minutes and for less than $10, you can create bait that will kill almost any insect or pest crawling in your home - without harming you, your family or your pets!

How To Kill Bugs Fast With Dish Soap and Other Detergents
Did you know that your household detergents were developed during World War II and when mixed with water will effectively kill almost any household bugs and pests including insects and arachnids?

© 2015 BrightSurf.com