Effect of cypermethrin on worker and soldier termites of subterranean termites Odontotermes brunneus (Hagen) (Termitidae: Isoptera)

  • Venkatesulu Mamatha
  • Ranganathan MuthusamyEmail author
  • Jimmantiyur Madhappan Murugan
  • Eliningaya J. Kweka
Research Article


The termite Odontotermes brunneus is an economically important species causing damage to cellulose containing wooden material and agricultural crops in India. Insecticide application is an effective strategy in termite control. In the present study the effect of cypermethrin was tested for workers and soldiers termite using filter paper dip method. After 24 h treatment the lethal concentration (LC50) was increased to 9.7 ppm in workers and 1.8 ppm in soldiers respectively. The detoxification enzyme activities of esterase, glutathione S-transferase was increased in worker termites 23 µmol, 9 µmol/min/mg of protein compared to soldiers 15 µmol, 7 µmol/min/mg of protein respectively (p < 0.05). The activity of mixed-function oxidase was found very less in both samples. Further nPAGE analysis revealed that increased esterase band in workers than soldier and control sample. The data of this study revealed that possible mechanism of esterase and glutathione S-transferase mediated cypermethrin detoxification that leads to reduce the sensitivity in worker termites of O. brunneus.


Terrestrial insect Synthetic pyrethriod Toxicity Detoxification enzymes Electrophoresis 



We thank our department of PG and Research Centre in Biotechnology for providing infrastructure facility to carry out this work.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Abbott, W.S. 1925. A method of computing the effectiveness of an insecticide. Journal of Economic Entomology 18: 265–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ahmad, M., A.H. Sayyed, N.A. Crickmore, and M.A. Saleem. 2007. Genetics and mechanism of resistance to deltamethrin in laboratory strains of Spodoptera litura (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Pest Management Science 63: 1002–1010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ahmed, S., and M. Qasim. 2011. Foraging and chemical control of subterranean termites in a farm building at Faisalabad, Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Life Science 9: 58–62.Google Scholar
  4. Brogdon, W.G. 1989. Biochemical resistance detection: An alternative to bioassay. Parasitology Today 5: 56–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Butler, D. 2011. Mosquitoes score in chemical war. Nature 475: 19–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chottani, O.B. 1997. Fauna of India–isopera (termites), vol. 2, pp. xx + 801 (Published Director. ZSI. Calcutta).Google Scholar
  7. Dauterman, W.C. 1985. Insect metabolism : Extra microsomal. In Comprehensive insect philology, biochemistry and pharmacology, vol. 12, ed. G.A. Kerkut and L.I. Gilbert, 713–730., Pergamon UK: Oxford.Google Scholar
  8. Enayati, A.A., H. Ranson, and J. Hemingway. 2005. Insect glutathione transferases and insecticide resistance. Insect Molecular Biology 14: 3–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fragoso, D.B., R.N.C. Guedesa, and M.G.A. Oliveira. 2007. Partial characterization of glutathione S-transferases in pyrethroid resistant and susceptible populations of the maize weevil, Sitophilus zeamais. Journal of Stored Products Research 43: 167–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gunning, R.V., C.S. Easton, M.E. Balfe, and I.G., Ferris. 1991. Pyrethroid resistance mechanisms in Australian Helicoverpa armigera. Pesticide Science 33: 473–490CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hussain, M.A., 1935. Pest of wheat crop in India. In Proceedings of 2nd world grain exhibition and conference, pp. 562–564.Google Scholar
  12. Ishaaya, I. 1993. Insect detoxifying enzymes: Their importance in pesticide synergism and resistance. Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology 22: 263–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kranthi, K.R. 2005. Insecticides resistance—Monitoring, mechanisms and management manual. Nagpur: CICR.Google Scholar
  14. Krishna, K., and P.M. Weesner. 1970. In Biology of termites, vol. 2, ed. K. Krishna and F.M. Weesner, 643. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  15. Kuriachan, I., and R.E. Gold. 1998. Evaluation of the ability of Reticulitermes flavipus Kollar, a subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) to differentiate between termiticid treated and untreated soils in laboratory tests. Sociobiology 32: 151–166.Google Scholar
  16. Lee, S.E. 2002. Biochemical mechanisms conferring cross-resistance to fumigant toxicities of essential oils in a chlorpyrifos-methyl resistant strain of Oryzaephilus surinamensis L. (Coleoptera: Silvanidae). Journal of Stored Product Research 38 (2): 157–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Liu, N. 2015. Insecticide resistance in mosquitoes: impact, mechanisms, and research directions. Annual Review of Entomology 60: 537–559CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lowry, O.H., N.J. Rosenbrough, A.L. Farr, and R.J. Randall. 1951. Protein measurement with the Folins phenol reagent. Journal of Biological Chemistry 193: 265–275.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Matsumura, F. 1985. Toxicology of Insecticides, 2nd ed. New York: Plenum.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Muthusamy, R., and M.S. Shivakumar. 2015a. Involvement of metabolic resistance and F1534C kdr mutation in the pyrethroid resistance mechanisms of Aedes aegypti in India. Acta Tropica 148: 137–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Muthusamy, R., and M.S. Shivakumar. 2015b. Resistance selection and molecular mechanisms of cypermethrin resistance in red hairy caterpillar (Amsacta albistriga walker). Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology 117: 54–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Muthusamy, R., R. Suganya, M. Gowri, and M.S. Shivakumar. 2013. Biochemical mechanisms of organophosphate and pyrethroid resistance in red hairy caterpillar Amsacta albistriga (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae). Journal of Saudi Society of Agricultural Science 12: 47–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Muthusamy, R., M. Vishnupriya, and M.S. Shivakumar. 2014. Biochemical mechanism of chlorantraniliprole resistance in Spodoptera litura (Fab) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology 17: 865–869.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Osbrink, W.A., A.R. Lax, and R.J. Brenner. 2001. Insecticide susceptibility in Coptotermes formosanus and Reticulitermes virginicus (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 94: 1217–1228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Osbrink, W.L.A., and A.R. Lax. 2003. Putative resistance to insecticides in the Formosan Subterranean termite an-overview. Sociobiology 41 (1): 143–152.Google Scholar
  26. Patel, G.A., and H.K. Patel. 1954. Seasonal incidence of termite injury in the northern parts of the Bombay State. Indian Journal of Entomology 15 (4): 376–378.Google Scholar
  27. Pearce, M.J. 1997. Termites biology and pest management, 172. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Rajagopal, D. 2002. Economically important termite species in India. Sociobiology 40 (1): 33–46.Google Scholar
  29. Ribeiro, B.M., R.N.C. Guedes, E.E. Oliveira, and J. Santos. 2003. Insecticide resistance and synergism in Brazilian populations of Sitophilus zeamais (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Journal of Stored Product Research 39 (1): 21–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sattar, A., and Z. Salihah, 2001. Detection and control of subterranean termites. In ed. Technologies for Sustainable Agriculture, Proceedings of national workshop. September 24–26, NIAB, Faisalabad, Pakistan (pp. 195–98).Google Scholar
  31. Scott, J.G. 2001. Cytochrome P450 monooxygenases and insecticide resistance: lessons from CYP6D1. In ed. Ishaaya, I., Biochemical sites of insecticide action and resistance. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Germany (pp. 255–267).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Scheffrahn, R.H., N.Y. Su, and P. Busey. 1997. Laboratory and field evaluation of selected chemical treatment and field evaluation of selected chemical treatment for control of dry wood termites (Isopteran: Kalotermitidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 90: 492–502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Smeathman, H. 1781. Some account of termites which are found in Africa and other hot climates. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 71: 139–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Srinivas, R., S.S. Udikeri, S.K. Jayalakshimi, and K. Sreeramula. 2004. Identification of factors responsible for insecticide resistance in Helocoverpa armigera. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology C 137: 169–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Strange, R.C., M.A. Spiteri, S.S. Ramachandran, and A.A. Fryer. 2001. Glutathione S-transferase family of enzymes. Mutation Research 482: 21–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Su, J., T. Lai, and J. Li. 2012. Susceptibility of field populations of Spodoptera litura (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in China to chlorantraniliprole and the activities of detoxification enzymes. Crop Protection 42: 217–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Taskin, V., K. Ucukakyuz, T. Arslan, B. Col, and B.G. Taskin. 2007. The biochemical basis of insecticides resistance and determination of esterase enzyme patterns by using PAGE in laboratory collected strains of Drosophila melanogaster from Mulla province of turkey. Journal of Cell and Molecular Biology 6 (1): 31–40.Google Scholar
  38. Zaim, M., and P. Guillet. 2002. Alternative insecticides: An urgent need. Trends in Parasitology 18: 161–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Zoological Society, Kolkata, India 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Venkatesulu Mamatha
    • 1
  • Ranganathan Muthusamy
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jimmantiyur Madhappan Murugan
    • 1
  • Eliningaya J. Kweka
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.PG and Research Centre in BiotechnologyMGR CollegeHosurIndia
  2. 2.Department of Medical Parasitology and Entomology, School of MedicineCatholic University of Health and Allied SciencesMwanzaTanzania
  3. 3.Mosquito Section, Division of Livestock and Human Health Disease Vector ControlTropical Pesticides Research InstituteArushaTanzania

Personalised recommendations