New research has found that insecticide-resistant strains of Green peach aphid, a potato pest and a vector for numerous potato viruses, are moving freely across growing regions and dominating landscapes across Australia.
The research, undertaken by scientific consulting company cesar for the Australian potato industry, used genetic testing to explore the movement of Green peach aphid across Australia and the spread of insecticide resistance.
“Aphids can cause direct feeding damage to potato plants when large numbers build up, leading to water stress, wilting and reduced growth rate for the affected plants,” said AUSVEG spokesperson Shaun Lindhe.
“Green peach aphids can also transmit several viruses to potato crops, including Potato virus Y and Potato leafroll virus – for which they’re actually the most effective vector.”
“Unfortunately, this particular variety of aphid has a high propensity to develop insecticide resistance. This research has found that populations with insecticide resistance are common in all crops that these aphids affect, including potatoes, which could cause problems with controlling them in the future.”
AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing more than 9,000 Australian vegetable and potato growers.
While there is an existing general resistance management strategy for Green peach aphid, cesar is also developing additional resistance management strategies. These include avoiding repeated applications of products from the same pesticide group, and encouraging beneficial insects early in the season to reduce broad-spectrum sprays.
“The findings from this research clearly demonstrate the need for an industry-wide approach to management of this pest, including resistance management strategies that include multiple vegetable and broad-acre crops,” said Mr Lindhe.
“It is vital that any unusual plant pest be reported immediately to the relevant state or territory agriculture agency through the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881 so that their spread, and the spread of any resistances they may have, can be contained.”
A detailed article on this research project can be found in the latest edition of Potatoes Australia, an industry funded magazine, which promotes industry research and development while keeping growers and stakeholders in the loop with the latest news.

Shaun Lindhe, AUSVEG Manager – Communications
Phone: (03) 9882 0277, Mobile: 0405 977 789, Email:


This communication has been funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Potato Levy and funds from the Australian Government.