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Occurrence and Significance of Insecticide-Induced Hormesis in Insects

  • G. Christopher Cutler*
    G. Christopher Cutler
    Department of Plant, Food, and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Dalhousie University, P.O. 550, Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada, B2N 5E3
    Department of Entomology, Federal University of Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil, 36570-000
    *E-mail: [email protected]. Phone: 902-896-2471. Fax: 902-893-1404.
  •  and 
  • Raul N. C. Guedes
    Raul N. C. Guedes
    Department of Plant, Food, and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Dalhousie University, P.O. 550, Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada, B2N 5E3
    Department of Entomology, Federal University of Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil, 36570-000
DOI: 10.1021/bk-2017-1249.ch008
    Publication Date (Web):September 11, 2017
    Copyright © 2017 American Chemical Society.
    Pesticide Dose: Effects on the Environment and Target and Non-Target Organisms
    Chapter 8pp 101-119
    ACS Symposium SeriesVol. 1249
    ISBN13: 9780841232112eISBN: 9780841232099

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    Abstract

    High amounts of stress are harmful to organisms, but in low amounts may stimulate certain biological processes. This biphasic response to a stressor, termed ‘hormesis’, has been seen in many insect taxa following mild exposure to stressors, including insecticides. Insecticide-induced hormesis in arthropods is most often observed as stimulated reproduction, although stimulatory effects on other physiological and behavioral processes have also been reported. Given that insect pests in agricultural settings are often exposed to sub-lethal doses of insecticide, the ramifications of insecticide-induced hormesis for pest outbreaks and insecticide resistance development may be significant. On the other hand, there may be opportunities to use hormetic principles to improve commercial production of insects, or to better understand how beneficial insects like pollinators respond to low doses of insecticide.

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