Esterase-based metabolic resistance to insecticides in heliothine and spodopteran pests

Claire A. Farnsworth, Mark G. Teese, Guorui Yuan, Yongqiang Li, Colin Scott, Xing Zhang, Yidong Wu, Robyn J. Russell, John G. Oakeshott*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Elevated esterase activities and increased band intensities of multiple esterase isozymes after electrophoresis are commonly associated with resistance to organophosphate, pyrethroid and carbamate insecticides in various heliothine and spodopteran pests. One possible explanation for this involves a 'master regulator' mutation in a more general chemical stress response. An association between elevated esterase activities and isozyme intensities has also been reported for resistance to the Cry1Ac toxin of Helicoverpa armigera. The basis for this is unclear albeit some involvement of esterases could be mediated by the toxin's affinity for N-acetyl galactosamine glycans on certain gut-expressed esterases in this species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-289
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Pesticide Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • organophosphates
  • carbamates
  • pyrethroids
  • Cry1Ac
  • cross-resistance


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