New service to test insecticide resistance in aphids

Author: Sharon Watt | Date: 01 Jun 2015

A new testing service is being offered to grain growers and advisers to determine the presence of insecticide resistance in green peach aphids. Photo: A Weeks

A new testing service is being offered to grain growers and advisers to determine the presence of insecticide resistance in green peach aphid (GPA) populations.

The service is being made available through cesar with the support of the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) to assist growers in choosing the most effective product for controlling GPA.

The tests will cover the three main insecticide groups used to control GPA, and other crop aphids, in Australia – pyrethroids (Group 3A), organophosphates (Group 1B) and carbamates (Group 1A).

Anthony van Rooyen, of cesar, says resistance in GPA has escalated as a result of heavy reliance on insecticides.

“GPA is a pest of many crops but primarily attacks canola, lupins and other pulse crops,” Mr van Rooyen said.

“They are most common in autumn and seldom cause economic losses to crops through direct feeding. However, GPA is an important vector of several plant diseases, including beet western yellows virus (BWYV).”

Widespread infestations of GPA during autumn and winter in 2014 contributed to a severe outbreak of BWYV across South Australia, western Victoria and some parts of New South Wales.

The severity of the 2014 BWYV outbreak was exacerbated by the prevalence of insecticide resistance in GPA populations.

Mr van Rooyen said the insecticide resistance testing service would involve genetic assays to ensure accuracy and quick results. Resistance results are typically available 7-10 days after receiving aphid samples.

Due to the nature of the genetic assays being undertaken, the cost for the resistance tests is dependent on the number of individual samples being screened at one time. Assays become more cost-effective as the number of samples increases.

For further information about this new testing service, contact Anthony van Rooyen at or phone 03 9349 4723.

To assist growers with their GPA management strategies, the GRDC recently collaborated with cesar, the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) which is a division of Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA), the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) and the Victorian Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) to produce a Reducing aphid and virus risk – tips and tactics publication. The publication, Reducing aphid and virus risk was released in response to last season’s canola crop losses caused by BWYV.

Growers are advised to ensure correct identification of GPA before deciding on control strategies. A GRDC Back Pocket Guide, has been developed to aid in the identification of crop aphids.

Meanwhile, GRDC-funded research continues into pesticide resistance in GPA and the management of BWYV. Read the industry-endorsed Resistance Management Strategy for GPA in Australian grains.

View an interview with Dr Paul Umina from cesar on green peach aphid and beet western yellows virus.

Media Interviews

Dr Paul Umina, cesar
03 9349 4723


Sharon Watt, Porter Novelli
0409 675100

GRDC Project Code DAQ00201

Region South, North