Document Type : Original Article


Department of Insect Population Toxicology, Central Agricultural Pesticides Laboratory, Agriculture Research Center, Dokki, Giza, Egypt



In insecticide resistance research on cotton leafworm multiple resistance mechanisms, including behavioral resistance, some types of physiological resistance (e.g. increasing activities of esterases), were identified as conferring organophosphate insecticide resistance in Spodoptera littoralis (Boisdüval, 1833) after decades used in Egypt. Enzyme kinetic parameters (Km and Vmax) and in vitro inhibition were used to detect variations in Cholinesterase (ChE) and Aliesterase (Ali-E) activities among different field populations and determine tolerance levels of field populations to chlorpyrifos using the dipping technique. Results revealed that, S. littoralis resistance levels in fourth-instar larvae exposed to chlorpyrifos were 9- to 120-fold in field populations compared with an insecticide-susceptible population. Activity of esterase preparations of larval head homogenates varied, that is the relative activity of ChE and Ali-E were 1.71 and 4.23-fold respectively in heavily-sprayed field populations while recorded 1.27 and 2.53-fold in desert field populations. The kinetic studies revealed that the Michaelis Constant (Km) and Maximal velocity (Vmax) values of ChE and Ali-E were higher in all field populations than susceptible population. The affinity of ChE, toward alpha-naphthyl acetate (α-NA) as a substrate, in S. littoralis was higher than that of Ali-E in all field populations. The ChE and Ali-E level was higher in the field-populations than its level in susceptible-population. Results revealed that the Ali-E was much more sensitive to in vitro inhibition by chlorpyrifos than ChE in field populations, meaning that ChE had an antagonistic effect on chlorpyrifos.

Graphical Abstract

Cholinesterase and Aliesterase as a Plant Enzymatic Defense against Chlorpyrifos in Field Populations of Spodoptera Littoralis (Boisdüval, 1833)(Lepidoptera, Noctüidae)


Main Subjects

1. Hemingway J, Field L, Vontas J. (2002). An overview of insecticide resistance. Science, 298(5591): 96-97.
2. USEPA (2011). Pesticide news story: EPA releases report containing latest estimates of pesticide use in the United States, United States Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved March 23, 2013.
3. Russell R J, Claudianos C, Campbell P M, Horne I, Sutherland T D, Oakeshott J G. (2004). Two major classes of target site insensitivity mutations confer resistance to organophosphate and carbamate insecticides. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology, 79(3): 84-93.
4. Sparks T C, Nauen R. (2015). IRAC: Mode of action classification and insecticide resistance management. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology, 121: 122-128.
5. Safi N H Z, Ahmadi A A, Nahzat S, Ziapour S P, Nikookar S H, Fazeli-Dinan M, Enayati A, Hemingway J. (2017). Evidence of metabolic mechanisms playing a role in multiple insecticides resistance in Anopheles stephensi populations from Afghanistan. Malaria journal, 16(1): 1-10.
6. Yang M, Zhang J, Zhu K, Xuan T, Liu X, Guo Y, Ma E. (2009). Mechanisms of organophosphate resistance in a field population of oriental migratory locust, Locusta migratoria manilensis (Meyen). Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology: Published in Collaboration with the Entomological Society of America, 71(1): 3-15.
7. Montella I R, Schama R, Valle D. (2012). The classification of esterases: an important gene family involved in insecticide resistance-A review. Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, 107(4): 437-449.
8. Tiwari S, Stelinski L L, Rogers M E. (2012). Biochemical basis of organophosphate and carbamate resistance in Asian citrus psyllid. Journal of Economic Entomology, 105(2): 540-548.
9. Wang M, Xing L, Ni Z, Wu G. (2018). Identification and characterization of ace1-type acetylcholinesterase in insecticide-resistant and-susceptible Propylaea japonica (Thunberg). Bulletin of entomological research, 108(2): 253.
10. Ismail S. (2019). Field evaluation of recommended compounds to control some pests attacking cotton and their side effects on associated predators. J. Biol. Chem. Res, 36: 113-121.
11. Bentivenha J P, Rodrigues J G, Lima M F, Marçon P, Popham H J, Omoto C. (2019). Baseline susceptibility of Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) to SfMNPV and evaluation of cross-resistance to major insecticides and Bt proteins. Journal of Economic Entomology, 112(1): 91-98.
12. Su J, Sun X-X. (2014). High level of metaflumizone resistance and multiple insecticide resistance in field populations of Spodoptera exigua (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Guangdong Province, China. Crop protection, 61: 58-63.
13. Miles M, Lysandrou M. (2002). Evidence for negative cross resistance to insecticides in field collected Spodoptera littoralis (Boisd.) from Lebanon in laboratory bioassays. Mededelingen (Rijksuniversiteit te Gent. Fakulteit van de Landbouwkundige en Toegepaste Biologische Wetenschappen), 67(3): 665-669. PMID: 12696435
14. Zaazou M, Ali A, Abdallah M, Riskallah M. (1973). In vivo and in vitro inhibition of cholinesterase and aliesterase in susceptible and resistant strains of Spodoptera littoralis. Bull. Entomol. Soc. Egypt. Econ, 7: 25-30.
15. Ismail S M. (2013). Biochemical effects of some insect growth regulators on field strains of the cotton Leafworm, spodoptera littoralis. Journal of Plant Protection and Pathology, 4(10): 837-844.
16. Van Asperen K. (1962). A study of housefly esterases by means of a sensitive colorimetric method. Journal of insect physiology, 8(4): 401-416.
17. Classics Lowry O, Rosebrough N, Farr A, Randall R. (1951). Protein measurement with the Folin phenol reagent. J Biol chem, 193: 265-275.
18. Kim J-H, Cho S Y, Lee J-H, Jeong S M, Yoon I-S, Lee B-H, Lee J-H, Pyo M K, Lee S-M, Chung J-M. (2007). Neuroprotective effects of ginsenoside Rg3 against homocysteine-induced excitotoxicity in rat hippocampus. Brain research, 1136: 190-199.
19. Pasteur N, Georghiou G P. (1989). Improved filter paper test for detecting and quantifying increased esterase activity in organophosphate-resistant mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae). Journal of Economic Entomology, 82(2): 347-353.
20. Oakeshott J, Claudianos C, Campbell P, Newcomb R, Russell R. (2010). Biochemical genetics and genomics of insect esterases. Comprehensive molecular insect science. Volume, 5: 392 pages.
21. Ismail S. (2008). Biochemical studies of Na+, K+-ATPase and acetylcholinesterase sensitivity to phenothrin and thiodicarb among different Egyptian field populations of Spodoptera littoralis. Alex. Sic. Exchange J, 29: 26-35. https://doi.10.21608/ASEJAIQJSAE.2008.3179
22. Ismail S M. (2020). Research Article Joint Toxic Action of Spinosad with Fenpropathrin and Chlorpyrifos and its Latent Effect on Different Egyptian Field Populations of Spodoptera littoralis. Asian Journal of Biological Sciences, 13(4): 328-334.
23. Ismail S M. (2020). Effect of sublethal doses of some insecticides and their role on detoxication enzymes and protein-content of Spodoptera littoralis (Boisd.)(Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Bulletin of the National Research Centre, 44(1): 1-6.
24. Basnet K, Bahadur M, Mukhopadhyay A. (2017). Change in activity of detoxifying enzymes in directionally selected population of tea mosquito bug (Helopeltis theivora)(Heteroptera: Miridae) by an organophosphate insecticide. Phytoparasitica, 45(4): 527-539.
25. Tian F, Mo X, Rizvi S A H, Li C, Zeng X. (2018). Detection and biochemical characterization of insecticide resistance in field populations of Asian citrus psyllid in Guangdong of China. Scientific reports, 8(1): 1-11.
26. Haddon C, Lewis J. (1996). Early ear development in the embryo of the zebrafish, Danio rerio. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 365(1): 113-128.;2-6