Chen, J., A. Kitazumi, J. Alpuerto, A. Alyokhin, and B. de los Reyes. 2016. Heat-induced mortality and expression of heat shock proteins in Colorado potato beetles treated with imidacloprid. Insect Science 23: 548-554.

The Colorado potato beetle is an important pest of solanaceous plants in the Northern Hemisphere. Better understanding of its physiological responses to temperature stress and their interactions with still-prevalent chemical control has important implications for the management of this insect. We measured mortality and expression of the Hsp70 heat shock proteins in the Colorado potato beetle larvae exposed to sublethal concentration of the commonly used insecticide imidacloprid, and to supraoptimal temperatures. Both turned out to be significant stress factors, although induction of Hsp70 by imidacloprid observed in the present study was low compared to its induction by the heat. The two factors also interacted with each other. At an extreme temperature of 43°C, exposure to a sublethal dose of imidacloprid resulted in a significant rise in larval mortality, which was not observed at an optimal temperature of 25°C. Heat-stressed larvae also failed to respond to imidacloprid by producing more Hsp70. These findings suggest that when field rates of insecticides become insufficient for killing the exposed beetles under optimal temperature conditions due to the evolution of resistance in beetle populations, they may still reduce the probability of resistant beetles surviving the heat shock created by using propane flamers as a rescue treatment.