High stability and no fitness costs of the resistance of codling moth to Cydia pomonella granulovirus (CpGV-M)
Resistance against the biocontrol agent Cydia pomonella granulovirus (CpGV-M) was previously observed in field populations of codling moth (CM, C. pomonella) in South-West Germany. Incidental observations in a laboratory reared field colony (CpR) indicated that this resistance is rather stable, even in genetically heterogeneous CM colonies consisting of both susceptible and resistant individuals. To test this hypothesis, the resistance level of CpR that was 1000 times less susceptible to CpGV-M was followed for more than 60 generations of rearing. Even without virus selection pressure, the high level of resistance, expressed as median lethal concentration, remained stable for more than 30 generations and declined only by a factor of 10 after 60 generations. When cohorts of the F32 and F56 generations of the same colony were selected to CpGV-M for five and two generations, respectively, the resistance level increased to factor of >1,000,000 compared to a susceptible control colony. Laboratory reared colonies of CpR, did not exhibit any measurable fitness costs under laboratory conditions in terms of fecundity and fertility. Resistance testing of seven selected codling moth field populations collected between 2003 and 2008 in commercial orchards in Germany that were repeatedly sprayed with CpGV products gave evidence of different levels of resistance and a more than 20-fold increase of the resistance in 1–3 years when selection by CpGV-M was continued. A maximum 1,000,000-fold level of resistance to CpGV-M that could be induced in the laboratory under virus pressure had been also observed in one field population. The high stability of resistance observed in the genetically heterogenous colony CpR indicates that resistance to CpGV-M is not very costly.
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