February 4, 2015
Dr. Chris Bass, Rothamsted Research
Dr. Bass is a Principal Research Scientist at Rothamsted Research in United Kingdom working on metabolic resistance to xenobiotics in a range of important crop pests and beneficial insects. He received a degree in Biology from University of Nottingham his Ph.D. in insect molecular biology from Rothamstead Resarch/Nottingham University in 2004. His research focuses on characterising the mechanisms of insecticide resistance in agricultural and human health pests using a range of molecular and genomic approaches, and the relationship between insecticide resistance and host adaptation.
The peach potato aphid, Myzus persicae is the most economically important aphid pest worldwide. This species is globally distributed and highly polyphagous with a host range of over 400 species including many economically important crop plants. The intensive use of insecticides to control this species over many years has led to populations that are resistant to almost all classes of insecticide. Work spanning >40 years has shown that M. persicae has a remarkable potential for rapid adaptive change with at least seven mechanisms of resistance described in this species to date. The remarkable array of novel resistance mechanisms, including several ‘first examples’, that have evolved in this species represents an important case study for the development of insecticide resistance and also rapid adaptive change in insects more generally. I will outline the insights study of this topic has provided on the evolution of resistance mechanisms, the selectivity of insecticides, and the link between resistance and host plant adaptation with a particular emphasis on recent work elucidating the molecular basis of resistance to neonicotinoid insecticides.