Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Pesticide mixtures can reduce the rate at which insects evolve pesticide resistance. However, with live biopesticides such as the naturally abundant pathogen Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), a range of additional biological considerations might affect the evolution of resistance. These can include ecological interactions in mixed infections, the different rates of transmission post-application and the impact of the native biodiversity on the frequency of mixed infections. Using multi-generation selection experiments, we tested how applications of single and mixed strains of Bt from diverse sources (natural isolates and biopesticides) affected the evolution of resistance in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella, to a focal strain. There was no significant difference in the rate of evolution of resistance between single and mixed-strain applications although the latter did result in lower insect populations. The relative survivorship of Bt-resistant genotypes was higher in the mixed-strain treatment, in part owing to elevated mortality of susceptible larvae in mixtures. Resistance evolved more quickly with treatments that contained natural isolates, and biological differences in transmission rate may have contributed to this. Our data indicate that the use of mixtures can have unexpected consequences on the fitness of resistant and susceptible insects.


Journal article


Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society

Publication Date