resistance has been the greatest menace to the global food security. A large
number of pesticide which had proved to be effacious against an invading pest a
few decades ago, are now ineffective due to the development of resistance by
the pest towards those pesticide (Sastry K.S., 2014). If the pace at
which tendency of resistance of pest towards pesticide grows faster than
innovation in technology, it is obvious that a big pandemonium outbursts and
even the easily controlled pest may cause havoc. The possible threats, causes
and preventive measures of the threats caused due to pesticide resistance is
presented in the paper. An attempt is also made to emphasize on rational use of
pesticides to mitigate the devastating implications borne due to pesticide
resistance in a near future.
Pesticides are the chemical formulation which in small dose inhibit the
growth of harmful pest without serious toxicity to the host plant.
Pesticides are widely used for crop protection in agriculture around the world (Hakeem, 2016). According to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
“Pesticides are any substance or
mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, or controlling any
pest, including vectors of human or animal disease, unwanted species of plants
or animals, causing harm during or otherwise interfering with the production,
processing, storage, transport, or marketing of food, agricultural commodities,
wood and wood products or animal feedstuffs, or substances that may be
administered to animals for the control of insects, arachnids, or other pests
in or on their bodies.”(FAO, 2007) When a pest is introduced in the field
the host plant tries to combat with the effect of pest.
. A mild pest attack will often be recovered without use of pesticide because
the immune system of the host plat can withstand such attack. When this (immune
system) is insufficient to protect, an appropriate pesticide intervention is
implicated. In this regard, knowledge of molecular mechanism of bacterial,
fungal and viral replications has greatly facilitated the rational development
of compounds that can interfere with the life cycles of various pest. Since,
the discovery of pesticide (DDT) eight decades ago, they have revolutionized
the control of infections, transforming once deadly pests into manageable
resistance is a natural ability of a biotype of an organism to survive exposure
to a pesticide that would normally kill an individual of that species.
Pesticide resistance is the failure of pesticide to kill the pest, with its
concentration at the site of infection below a level that is toxic to host
plants. Pesticide resistance is a very serious and immensely growing phenomenon
in a modern agriculture that has emerged as one of the pre-eminent public food
security concerns of the 21st century. Such a growing phenomenon of
pesticide resistance in an alarming rate borne mainly due to use and abuse of
pesticide and a simultaneous decline in research and development of new
agriculture technique, is threatening entire globe. The failure in effective
treatment and prevention of infection due to pesticide resistance obstructs the
important achievements of modern agriculture viz. hydroponics, development of
resistance variety, germplasm conservation etc. It is indispensable to
understand the mechanism of resistance acquired by the pest to pesticide. For a
pesticide to be effective, it must reach its target in an optimum
concentration, not toxic to host cell, bind to the target and interfere with
the normal functioning of pest. Thus, resistance of pest to an pesticide may fall into three general categories viz.
1) the pesticide doesn’t reach its target, 2) the pesticide is not active and
3) the pest is altered. The failure of
pesticide may be due to mutation or selection acquired by the pests with
passage of trait vertically to daughter cells. The mutation and selection in
most cases are not lethal and do not appreciably alter virulence, they are
successful in generating resistance. For the trait to spread, the original
mutant or progeny have to be transmitted directly, which most commonly occur by
horizontal transfer of resistance determinants from a donor cell by
transduction, transformation or conjugation. Pesticide resistance at a
population level, as opposed to just a few individual pests within a species,
can occur after repeated exposure to a single type of pesticide. This is
because only the resistant organisms are left to reproduce with other resistant
organisms. The new resistant biotype (with the natural ability to survive a
pesticide exposure) then becomes the dominant biotype of the pest population.
Since, the devastating implications due to pesticide resistance is well
pronounced, we must stand in a position to combat and prevent such a terrible
Major Causes of Pesticide
use, misuse and abuse of pesticides are the major causes of pesticide
resistance. Such a practice may be done by farmers, unskilled practitioner or
by the public.
agricultural use is partially responsible for the escalating rates of
resistance, especially in farmer’s field settings worldwide. The unnecessary use
of pesticide has also been documented, particularly in case of minor insects
and other pest.
unskilled practitioners especially in case of rural areas of developing
countries are ignorant in regard to deleterious effects of inappropriate use of
pesticide. The public are also responsible for misuse of pesticides. They do
not use the recommended dose of the pesticide, as they use the pesticide as per
their wish and even recommend the pesticide to other person in the community.
other prominent cause of pesticide resistance is availability of poor quality
pesticide. Along with the risk of crop failure, degradation products or
adulterants in poor quality pesticide can produce sub inhibitory concentration
in vivo which increases the selection of resistant strains. Degraded and
expired pesticides also promote pesticide resistance.
decline in research and development is also a cause for the pesticide
resistance. Such steep decline is due to market failure, lack of clear
regulatory guidelines for pesticide companies and economic disincentives.
Despite this, the research work must be carried out to combat this devastating
pesticide that are being used in agriculture irrationally are another major
cause of pesticide resistance. This has contributed to the resistance in various
pest which then passes on to resistance in their progenies that affect plants.
The increased global travel, agriculture-tourism and trade also add up in pesticide
resistance. Pesticide resistant pest are notorious globe-trotters. They travel
well in infected air passenger and through global trade in food. In addition,
the growth of agriculture-tourism has accelerated the international spread of field
acquired infections that are frequently resistant to multiple pesticide.
of Pesticide Resistance
When pest come up
with resistance towards the available pesticides, then the specific damage
caused by them can’t be controlled, and any damage to which the pests are
resistant becomes pandemic reducing the yield in huge number. This implies the
possible devastation that could be implicated due to pesticide resistance. As a
matter of fact, large numbers of pest are on the course of developing
resistance and some pests have already developed resistance towards the
available pesticide. It is urgent demand of time to find a panacea to such
devastating woes to save the existence food security.
Large scale use of
pesticide to control pest has resulted in development of resistance which is
serious bottleneck in the successful use of pesticide (Manandar, 2003). Helicoverpa
armigera in tomato field in eastern region of Nepal has developed 55-56
fold, 3 fold, and 2 fold resistance to pyrethroids, endosulfan and methomil
respectively. A survey conducted in 1994 in Nepalgunj in Helicoverpa of
cotton developed 103-106, 11 and 3 fold resistance to pyrthroids, methomil and
endosulfan respectively. When the broad spectrum & persistant pesticide is
used, it kills the pest of natural enemy resulting in rapid increase in pest
population known as pest resurgence.
pesticide resistance has led to overuse of pesticide these days. The over use
of pesticide than recommended has more dreadful complication which has result
in environment pollution and pesticide poisoning. A research has shown that the
95% of the sprayed pesticide don’t reach to the target site which reaches to
the other destination (Transhkent, 1998). Pesticide are one of the major source
of air and water source pollution. In USA 90% of the water sources was found to
be polluted by the pesticides.(Gillion, 2007). The fumigants used for various pest
are volatile in nature thus releases various toxic which reacts with
atmospheric compound to form more envenom form that has detrimental effect on
poisoning is another ghastly issues of modern agriculture and has been
challenging the global food security system. Every year more than 50000 illness
and 20000 death is caused due to pesticide poisoning (Rajendran,
According to a survey conducted by WHO, Each year the death toll reaches more
than 220000 across the world due to pesticide poisoning. (Earth, 2001). A survey in
Bangladesh released that 37% of the farmer spraying various pesticide had
burning sensation where as 28% had breathing problems, 18% had itching, 13% had
dizziness and 11% had burning in eyes (Nepal, 2011) .
time has emerged in which the globe is compelled to ponder that the destruction
in global food security must be mitigated. We need always to be ready to combat
the possible devastations caused by the pesticide resistance. We can be focused
on conservational agriculture, organic farming and pesticide stewardship
program to improve targeted therapy. The joint effort of extension officers,
farmers, policymakers and researchers is a must to mitigate such devastations.
farmer must be encouraged and made aware to use the pesticide only when
prescribed by the expert. The farmer should be strictly informed not to share
with other or use leftover prescription. The agriculture experts must enhance
soil prevention and control haphazard use of pesticide. They should prescribe
and dispense pesticides when truly needed, and the right pesticide to control
pest must be selected.
policy makers must strengthen the regulations for resistance taking and
laboratory capacity. The appropriate use of pesticide should be strictly
regulated and promoted. The researchers must foster innovations and development
of new tools.
Results and Discussion
effective pesticides have been one of the pillars allowing us to live longer,
live healthier and benefit from modern agriculture. Unfortunately, the pesticide
resistance has converted global heath to a chaos. Optimal and judicious
selection of pesticide for the therapy of infectious pest requires economic
judgment and detailed knowledge of the pest economic threshold level. But, the
decision to use pesticide frequently is made lightly without regard to the potential
infecting pest. Pesticide agents are used generally in three ways- as broad spectrum,
selective and preventive therapy. When pesticide is used as broad spectrum,
they must cover all likely pest since the infecting pest has not yet
identified. However, once the pest is identified, selective pesticides therapy
should be instituted-a narrow spectrum low-toxicity regimen to reduce the pest
population. The indication of particular pesticide agent must be ensured in
regards to its potency to cause toxicity or allergic reactions in the pest being
can cause serious damage and injudicious use of pesticide may promote selection
of resistant strains of microorganism. It is obvious that, before initiating
the control or management practices, the definitive identification of the pest
should be done and in such case of absence in clear indication, pesticide often
may be used, if damage is severe and if it seems likely that withholding
pesticide management will result in failure to manage a potentially threatening
infection. Thus, the proper selection of pesticide is obligatory to mitigate
the effects of pesticide resistance. It is now first to look at pesticide resistance,
which globally reveals that this serious threat is no longer a prediction for
the future, it is happening now in every nook and cranny of the world and has
the potential to affect anyone of any age in any country. Pesticide resistance-
when pests change so pesticide no longer work in field which is needed them to
control or efface the pest population is now a major threat to global food
sum up, the globe has been able to have a secure food security system as a
result of development of various pesticide for eight decades. Now, we are at a
critical point in controlling infectious pest; the natural ability of plant to
evolve and defend themselves against pest at a frightening pace, public health
and global food security as the world is headed for a post-pesticide era in
which common infections and minor pest which have been controllable for decades
once again can cause famine. It is immense demand of time to grow rapidly the
preventive measures and alleviate the causes responsible for the development of
pesticide resistance. Of course, the research and development in the field of
pesticide resistance must be in a pace higher than the rate at which pests are
being resistant. A cohesive effort of farmer, public, agriculture workers,
policy-makers and researchers must be put forward to solve the devastating
problem of pesticide resistance. As a result, globe can entertain healthier,
happier and longer life.
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