Resistance management for sustainable agriculture and improved public health

Tobacco budworm

Heliothis virescens

This moth is one of the most destructive pests of the tobacco. Other recorded food plants include cotton, rice and soybean. It is only found in the Americas from Canada to Argentina.

Female can lay up to 2000 eggs, on buds, blossoms or young foliage. Depending on climatic conditions it can have several generations in each season. The life cycle is completed in about 7 weeks.

Newly-hatched larvae usually begin feeding on tender leaf surfaces and other tender vegetation before attacking fruiting forms. Smaller larvae feed on smaller fruits and generally move progressively to larger fruiting forms as they grow. They bore into buds or blossoms and destroy the fruiting structures.

Tobacco budworm resistance profile

Resistance to DDT was first reported in the 1960s and ever since, Heliothis virescens developed resistance to most insecticides used against it in significant quantities. The introduction of transgenic cotton in the 1990s may have recovered susceptibility to some insecticides in some areas.

Species Distribution Chemical class Mechanisms
Heliothis virescens USA Carbamates (1A)
Heliothis virescens USA Organophosphates (1B)
Heliothis virescens USA Cyclodiene organochlorines (2A)
Heliothis virescens USA Pyrethroids-Pyrethrins (3A)
Heliothis virescens USA DDT (3B)
Heliothis virescens Mexico Carbamates (1A)
Heliothis virescens Mexico Pyrethroids-Pyrethrins (3A)
Heliothis virescens Columbia Pyrethroids-Pyrethrins (3A)
Heliothis virescens Brazil Carbamates (1A)
Heliothis virescens Brazil Organophosphates (1B)
Heliothis virescens Brazil Cyclodiene organochlorines (2A)
Heliothis virescens Brazil Pyrethroids-Pyrethrins (3A)

Key tobacco budworm resources


Title Year Author(s) Publisher
Mechanism of resistance to spinosyn in the tobacco budworm, Heliothis virescens Vol. 96 (1), pp. 8-13 2010 Roe RM, Young HP, Iwasa T, Wyss CF, Stumpf CF, Sparks TC, Watson GB, Sheets JJ, Thompson GD Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology
Bollgard cotton and resistance of tobacco budworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) to conventional insecticides in southern Tamaulipas, Mexico Vol. 98 (6), pp. 2203-09 2005 Terán-Vargas AP,, Rodríguez JC, Blanco CA, Martínez-Carrillo JL, Cibrián-Tovar J, Sánchez-Arroyo H, Rodríguez-del-Bosque LA, Stanley D Journal of Economic Entomology
Resistance to insecticides in heliothine Lepidoptera: a global view Vol. 353 (1376), pp.1735-50. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.1998.0326 1998 McCaffery AR Royal Society of London (Biological Sciences)
Novel mutations in the para-homologous sodium channel gene associated with phenotypic expression of nerve insensitivity resistance to pyrethroids in Heliothine lepidoptera. Vol. 7 (2), pp. 191-196 1998 Head DJ, McCaffery AR, Callaghan A Insect Molecular Biology
A Valine 421 to Methionine Mutation in IS6 of the hscp Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel Associated with Pyrethroid Resistance in Heliothis virescens F Vol.239 (3), pp. 688-691. DOI: 10.1006/bbrc.1997.7511 1997 Park Y, Taylor MFJ, Feyereisen R Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Multiple Factors in Cotton Contributing to Resistance to the Tobacco Budworm, Heliothis virescens F. Chapter 20, pp. 347-365, Vol. 208, DOI: 10.1021/bk-1983-0208.ch020 1983 Hedin PA, Jenkins JN, Collum DH, White WH, Parrott WL ACS Symposium Series

The information provided is based on literature reviews and as such IRAC cannot guarantee or be held accountable for the accuracy of the reports.

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