Reversal of resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis in Plutella xylostella

Bruce E. Tabashnik, Naomi Finson, Francis R. Groeters, William J. Moar, Marshall W. Johnson, Ke Luo, Michael J. Adang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

203 Scopus citations


Continued success of the most widely used biopesticide, Bacillus thuringiensis, is threatened by development of resistance in pests. Experiments with Plutella xylostella (diamondback moth), the first insect with field populations resistant to B. thuringiensis, revealed factors that promote reversal of resistance. In strains of P. xylostella with 25- to 2800- fold resistance to B. thuringiensis compared with unselected strains, reversal of resistance occurred when exposure to B. thuringiensis was stopped for many generations. Reversal of resistance was associated with restoration of binding of B. thuringiensis toxin CryIA(c) to brush-border membrane vesicles and with increased biotic fitness. Compared with susceptible colonies, revertant colonies had a higher proportion of extremely resistant individuals. Revertant colonies responded rapidly to reselection for resistance. Understanding reversal of resistance will help to design strategies for extending the usefulness of this environmentally benign insecticide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4120-4124
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 10 1994


  • diamondback moth
  • insecticidal crystal protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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