A Belgian field strain (MR-VP) of Tetranychus urticae (Koch) (Acari: Tetranychidae) exhibits different levels of resistance to four frequently used METI (mitochondrial electron transport inhibitor)-acaricides, i.e. tebufenpyrad, fenpyroximate, pyridaben and fenazaquin. Resistance factors for these compounds were 184, 1547, 5971 and 35, respectively. A 23.5-fold increase in 7-ethoxy-4-trifluoromethylcoumarin O-deethylation activity suggested that metabolic resistance through elevated levels of cytochrome P450 dependent monooxygenase-activity is a possible resistance mechanism.
However, synergism studies with different metabolic inhibitors revealed some contrasting resistance mechanisms between the METI-acaricides. Tebufenpyrad resistance could only be synergized after pre-treatment with the monooxygenase inhibitor piperonyl butoxide (PBO), whereas pyridaben resistance was strongly synergized both by PBO and the esterase inhibitor S,S,S-tributylphosphorotrithioate (DEF). Resistance levels to fenpyroximate could neither be suppressed by PBO nor by DEF. Although METI-acaricides are structurally related, these findings probably reflect a different role of esterases and mono-oxygenases in metabolic detoxification between these compounds. The overall lack of synergism by diethylmaleate (DEM) suggests that glutathione-S-transferases are not an important factor in resistance to METIs.
Reciprocal crosses between susceptible females and resistant males showed no maternal effect, and resistance to METI-acaricides was inherited generally as a dominant trait. Backcrosses with F1 females revealed striking differences in the mode of inheritance. Although resistance to fenpyroximate and pyridaben was under monogenic control, resistance to tebufenpyrad was under control of more than one gene.