WERA60: Management of Pesticide Resistance

(Multistate Research Coordinating Committee and Information Exchange Group)

Status: Inactive/Terminating

WERA60: Management of Pesticide Resistance

Duration: 10/01/2012 to 09/30/2017

Administrative Advisor(s):

NIFA Reps:

Statement of Issues and Justification

The development of resistance to insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, rodenticides, and bactericides continues to be a significant threat in agricultural production and public health. Despite predictions to the contrary, pesticide resistance cases are continuing to grow and expand rapidly (see http://www.pesticideresistance.org/). Resistance has become an important consideration in the pesticide regulatory process, both in the U.S. and internationally. Pesticide resistance and its management have considerable economic implications in this country and abroad. Resistance is expected to remain one of the most important problems in pest management because selection pressure generated at the population level from recently introduced active ingredients may exceed older, more broad spectrum pesticides. This is due in part to the development and release of pesticides with single-site mode of actions which pests may be able to adapt to more readily than to older pesticides with multi-sites of action.

Successfully managing resistance requires information from multiple disciplines, including evolution, population and molecular genetics, biochemistry, physiology, and ecology. Additionally, studies of economics, sociology and other social sciences can make important contributions to resistance monitoring and management. This committee has chosen to focus primarily on applied research and extension activities to monitor resistance evolution and implement resistance management strategies and tactics in the field. In this manner, the committee intends to build and maintain internal cohesion and a focused agenda. This group will provide an opportunity for dialogue amongst applied researchers and extension specialists working on resistance in different disciplines, geographic regions, and systems. This is a unique opportunity for individuals from different disciplines to exchange information across specific topics, in a time when professional conferences and committees are tending to become more narrowly discipline focused.

Through the discussion of resistance issues, members will gain unique interdisciplinary perspectives to guide their individual research, extension, and teaching efforts. Similarly, the exchange of information regarding implementation of resistance management strategies in different regions and systems can be extremely valuable. Discussion with other researchers and extension specialists is the best means to obtain a broad perspective about resistance and its management, which is not easily obtained by reading literature in other disciplines. With this perspective plus an understanding of strategies being used in other disciplines, the members of this group can gain new ideas and are better able to address resistance issues occurring in their individual areas. Discussion will focus on implementation of resistance detection and management programs bringing in broader perspectives when possible. We are a highly heterogeneous, interdisciplinary (entomology, weed science, and plant pathology) group of scientists with research and extension responsibilities.

In addition to information sharing among members, this group also serves a critical role in communicating with the chemical industry and government regulators. Previous activities of this group included a congressional briefing on pesticide resistance and a meeting with US EPA staff to discuss pesticide resistance and regulations.

Another important contribution of the committee was the recognition of the need to create the Arthropod Pesticide Resistance Database (APRD) and the Resistant Pest Management Newsletter. Both have continued to grow in importance since their creation indicating their importance to stakeholders. While key leadership came from Michigan State University and the database and newsletter are maintained on computers at Michigan State, members of this group have continued to assist with promoting and providing information for APRD and the Newsletter and serve as editors for articles submitted to the Newsletter.

The APRD has become most complete database on resistant organisms in the world. It is our intention that this effort to report arthropod pesticide resistance should contribute to the design of better alternatives for resistance pest management; and contribute to the worlds effort to reduce hunger, improve human and animal health and food security. The APRD published numerous summary tables that are updated instantly as new cases are reviewed and published in the database. The database is frequently visited, we have recorded about 500,000 visits lasting 10 minutes or longer annually. This resource is being used both by USEPA, USDA, EU, and industry (IRAC International) authorities as well as pest managers in the US and internationally for resistance reporting for pesticide registration and pesticide reregistration processes as well as recommendations in resistance management. In addition, the database is becoming the worlds standard for reporting resistance cases because resistance workers the world over can easily submit cases on-line (usually in less than 15 minutes) to an editorial panel of case editors who are recognized resistance authorities for direct inclusion and reporting in the APRD. The APRD now has 574 species and 10,000 cases of pesticide resistance. Conventional insecticides made up about 85.2% of the total resistance cases.

The Resistant Pest Management (RPM) Newsletter was developed to publish knowledge of resistance around the world. The goal of the RPM Newsletter is to inform researchers, industry workers, pesticide policy bureaucrats and field personnel worldwide of ongoing changes and advances in pesticide resistance management. It also provides an archival resource to national and international policy leaders, and enhances communication of ideas among resistance managers worldwide. Since its 1989 inception, the Newsletter has published over 650 articles. The Bi-annual publication has over 1,100 electronic subscribers (mostly in government, industry and academia), and hard copies are now part of 58 library serial listings globally. Example countries with serial listings include the United States, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, India, Japan, Taiwan, Egypt, Kenya, Costa Rica, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, etc.

The public as consumers are the ultimate stake holders. Pest management is essential for production in all biological systems. By evidence of example, pesticides are the most effective and economic means of pest control, hence they are consistently chosen by managers to control pests. Maintenance of the utility of safe, effective pesticides is in the national interest, the public interest, and the interest of all participants in agricultural production and those who utilize the products of agricultural production - food, feed, fiber, and wood products.

Without the existence of this committee, an important cross discipline forum for discussion and information exchange will be lost. Committee interactions provide individual members access to a much broader knowledge and experience base from which to better serve stakeholders. The existence of the committee also provides a pipeline through which resistance management issues can come to the attention of legislators, US EPA staff, and others.


  1. 1. To facilitate cooperation and exchange of information across disciplines (academic, regulatory, industry)in order to promote effective applied research and extension leading to the development and implementation of sustainable strategies to prevent or delay evolution of resistance in pest populations.
  2. 2. To facilitate organization and delivery of scientific symposia and related forums on pesticide resistance management at regional, national, and international levels. Potential partners include CAST, IRAC, FRAC, HRAC, EPA, NRC, National Cotton Council, Cotton Incorporated, USDA-IPM, and related entities.
  3. 3. To encourage resistance case reporting through the Arthropod Pesticide Resistant Database (www.pesticideresistance.com) which provides peer reviewed resistance case publication on the world wide web. To encourage reports of herbicide resistance to the Herbicide Resistance web site (www.weedscience.com).
  4. 4. To disseminate information on new developments in resistance in the Resistant Pest Management Newsletter, the Plant Management Network, and to facilitate collaborations among members for production of targeted extension education materials.

Procedures and Activities

* Meetings will be held annually. Meetings will be coordinated when appropriate with meetings of other scientific groups, committees, and agencies interested in resistance.

* Annual reports of accomplishments will be prepared.

* Symposia or other educational programs will be offered and may involve co-sponsorship with industry and other scientific groups concerned about resistance management.

Expected Outcomes and Impacts

  • Information focused on applied research and extension to enhance pesticide resistance management will be exchanged across disciplines, geographic regions, and systems. Members will gain unique perspectives to guide their individual research, extension, and teaching efforts.
  • Through symposia or other educational programs, information on pesticide resistance and resistance management will reach important audiences and stakeholders in the scientific community, in industry, and among regulators.
  • Through the publication of the Arthropod Pesticide Resistance Database (APRD), provide a resource that has been and will continue to be a resource used both by USEPA, EU and industry (IRAC International) authorities as well as pest managers in the US and internationally for resistance reporting for pesticide registration and pesticide reregistration processes as well as recommendations in resistance management.

Projected Participation

View Appendix E: Participation

Educational Plan

Symposia or other educational programs will be offered and may involve co-sponsorship with Industry and other scientific groups concerned about resistance management. Symposia proceeding or abstracts will be published in the Resistant Pest Management Newsletter or other appropriate media.

The committee will continue to cooperate in the publication of the Resistant Pest Management Newsletter (http://www.cips.msu.edu/resistance/rpmnews/). In addition, the committee will continue to advise, contribute to, and help evolve the development of the Arthropod Pesticide Resistance Database which reports arthropod resistance globally. Information generated through the coordinating committee will be incorporated into reports and included in impact statements that are distributed by the nations Agricultural Experiment Stations.


Standard (with annual election of a chair from the ranks of official members).

Literature Cited

1. Resistant Pest Management Newsletter, a bi-annual newsletter published by the Michigan State University Center for Integrated Plant Systems, supported by the Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC) and the Western Coordinating Committee entitled Science and Management of Pesticide Resistance (WERA-060).

Access is free at http://www.cips.msu.edu/resistance/rpmnews/

2. Members of WERA-060 were major contributors to a symposium published by CAST, available on the CAST website at: http://www.cast-science.org. Below is the statement on the CAST site:

Management of Pest Resistance: Strategies Using Crop Management, Biotechnology, and Pesticides. Special Publication.

The April 2003 CAST-convened symposium on pest resistance management (PRM) was the first such U.S.-based multidisciplinary stakeholder meeting in nearly a decade. Major objectives included identifying common issues related to PRM across disciplines, considering ways to remove barriers to effective preventive resistance management, describing research activities in PRM, and disseminating this information to a wide audience of stakeholders. Fifty-two presentations are collected in this proceedings. Barry J. Jacobsen, Montana State University, Symposium Chair, and Sharlene R. Matten, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Proceedings Chair. SP24, June 2004.


Land Grant Participating States/Institutions


Non Land Grant Participating States/Institutions

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cotton Incorporated
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