Whitefly (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) binding site for imidacloprid and related insecticides: a putative nicotinic acetylcholine receptor

J Econ Entomol. 1997 Aug;90(4):879-82. doi: 10.1093/jee/90.4.879.


Imidacloprid is used extensively to control sweetpotato whiteflies, Bemisia argentifolii Bellows & Perring [also known as B. tabaci (Gennadius) biotype B]. As a radioligand, [3H]imidacloprid binds rapidly to a single class of high-affinity sites in membrane preparations from whole adult whiteflies with an apparent dissociation constant of 2 nM and maximal binding capacity of 101 fmol/mg protein. Three related compounds (the nitromethylene analog of imidacloprid, acetamiprid, and nitenpyram) inhibit [3H]imidacloprid binding by 50% at 0.40, 2.9, and 57 nM, respectively. The pharmacological profile of the binding site (examined with imidacloprid and the analogs listed above, and nicotine, alpha-bungarotoxin, carbachol, acetylcholine [with paraoxon], and atropine) is consistent with that anticipated for a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and correlates well with binding results for house fly, Musca domestica L., head membranes under the same conditions. Thus, [3H]imidacloprid is a suitable radioligand to investigate the putative nicotinic acetylcholine receptor of Bemisia and the possible modifications of this target site associated with selection of resistant strains.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Hemiptera
  • Imidazoles / chemistry
  • Imidazoles / metabolism*
  • Insecta / metabolism*
  • Insecticides / chemistry
  • Insecticides / metabolism*
  • Kinetics
  • Molecular Structure
  • Neonicotinoids
  • Nitro Compounds
  • Receptors, Nicotinic / metabolism*


  • Imidazoles
  • Insecticides
  • Neonicotinoids
  • Nitro Compounds
  • Receptors, Nicotinic
  • imidacloprid