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Sublethal Exposure to Phosphine Decreases Offspring Production in Strongly Phosphine Resistant Female Red Flour Beetles, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst)

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Ridley, A. W., Magabe, S., Schlipalius, D. I., Rafter, M. A. and Collins, P. J. (2012) Sublethal Exposure to Phosphine Decreases Offspring Production in Strongly Phosphine Resistant Female Red Flour Beetles, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst). PLoS ONE, 7 (12). ISSN 19326203 (ISSN)

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Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0053356


The red flour beetle is a cosmopolitan pest of stored grain and stored grain products. The pest has developed resistance to phosphine, the primary chemical used for its control. The reproductive output of survivors from a phosphine treatment is an important element of resistance development but experimental data are lacking. We exposed mated resistant female beetles to 0.135 mg/L of phosphine for 48 h at 25°C. Following one week of recovery we provided two non-exposed males to half of the phosphine exposed females and to half of the non-exposed control females. Females that had been exposed produced significantly fewer offspring than non-exposed females. Females that remained isolated produced significantly fewer offspring than both exposed females with access to males and non-exposed controls (P<0.05). Some females were permanently damaged from exposure to phosphine and did not reproduce even when given access to males. We also examined the additional effects of starvation prior to phosphine exposure on offspring production. Non-exposed starved females experienced a small reduction in mean offspring production in the week following starvation, followed by a recovery in the second week. Females that were starved and exposed to phosphine demonstrated a very significant reduction in offspring production in the first week following exposure which remained significantly lower than that of starved non-exposed females (P<0.05). These results demonstrate a clear sublethal effect of phosphine acting on the female reproductive system and in some individuals this can lead to permanent reproductive damage. Pest population rebound after a fumigation may be slower than expected which may reduce the rate of phosphine resistance development. The results presented strongly suggest that phosphine resistance models should include sublethal effects. © 2012 Ridley et al.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Additional Information::doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0053356 PubMed ID: 23300916 Language of Original Document: English Correspondence Address: Ridley, A. W.; Agri-Science Queensland, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, EcoSciences Precinct, Brisbane, QLD, Australia; email: andrew.ridley@daff.qld.gov.au
Keywords:phosphine article concentration (parameters) controlled study environmental exposure female female genital system female infertility fumigation insect development lethality male mating success nonhuman pesticide resistance population dynamics progeny reproductive toxicity social isolation starvation Tribolium castaneum Animals Phosphines Reproduction Tribolium
Subjects:Plant pests and diseases > Pest control and treatment of diseases. Plant protection
Live Archive:03 Sep 2013 05:03
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:49

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