David Mota-Sanchez

David Mota-Sanchez

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Associate Professor



Arthropod Pesticide Resistance Database


Dr. Mota-Sanchez’s research focuses on the evolution of arthropod resistance to pesticides, insecticide toxicology, and metabolism of pesticides in insects. He is working on resistance of Colorado potato beetle, fall army worm, western flower thrips, and fruit pests to insecticides, and fall armyworm to insecticides and Bt toxins. Dr. Mota-Sanchez is Co-Director of the Arthropod Pesticide Resistance Database which tracks cases of arthropod resistance globally dating back to 1914. He is also working on IPM, insecticide resistance management, international agriculture and biotechnology particularly with Latin America. He served as an Embassy Science Fellow with the U.S. State Department and USDA FSA in Mexico to increase awareness and understanding of GE crops and provide scientific information that illustrates the economic benefits and social importance for the production of such crops in Mexico. In addition, he has extension projects to train Latino farmers in IPM and access to USDA programs. He is working also in research and extension of the monarch butterfly in Michigan, and Mexico.

Current assignment: Research 70% | Extension 30%

Program Description


Co-instructor in Insecticide Toxicology (ENT812) course led by Dr. Ke Dong. Visiting scientists from Turkey, China, Mexico and Ecuador have been hosted in the laboratory for 4 to 5 month time periods. During their stays I provided them training in the area of insect adaptation to xenobiotics.


My program focuses on 1) the evolution of arthropod resistance to pesticides, 2) insecticide toxicology and 3) metabolism of pesticides in insects at the local and global scale. The major insect pests I have worked with include Colorado potato beetle, fall army worm, western flower thrips, and codling moth and oblique banded leaf roller. My newest research project is on fall army worm adaptation to Bt toxins and conventional insecticides in the USA, Mexico and Latin America. Research techniques employed in my laboratory consist of in vitro and in vivo bioassays and the use of radiotracers to study the metabolism of susceptible and resistant insects.  I have partnered with scientists from the National Institute of Agricultural Research (INIAP) Ecuador to investigate the impact of pesticides in pests of corn and non-target organisms in three agro ecological regions, as well as the determination of aflatoxins in corn grains. In addition, I started a Monarch butterfly conservation project in Michigan and Mexico that has research and extension components.


My Latino extension program to engage Latino farmers in US agriculture reached more than 200 farmers with limited prior access to MSU extension and USDA programs. Growers received about 3 million dollars in grants from USDA loans thanks to the training and many growers have successfully implemented the IPM training they received.

The pesticide resistance database is widely used by EPA, USDA, FAO, WHO, farmers and the pesticide industry in the US and around the world. About 100,000 users per year access the database and it is widely cited in different research articles and books


  • Insecticide resistance
  • Biotechnology
  • Insect physiology
  • Toxicology
  • IPM

Professional Experience

  • 2009-Present - Assistant Professor, Michigan State University
  • 2003-2009 - Visiting Research Associate, Dept. of Entomology, Michigan State University
  • 2000-2002 - Graduate Research Assistant, Dept. of Entomology, Michigan State University
  • 1996 - Visiting Scholar, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES), Cornell University
  • 1991-1995 - Research Scientist in Insecticide Toxicology, Graduate School (CP), Mexico
  • 1989-1991 - Head, Pesticide Registration Department, Secretary of Agriculture, Mexico
  • 1988-1989 - Coordinator, Mediterranean Fruit Fly, Mexico
  • 1984-1985 - Research Scientist, IPM of fruit flies

Selected Publications

  • Carlos A. Blanco, C., Chiaravalle, W., Dalla-Rizza, M.,  Juliano R., Farias, JR., García-  Degano, F., Gastaminza,G.  Mota-Sánchez, D.,  Murúa,G.,  Omoto, C.,  Pieralisi, BK, Rodríguez-Maciel,,JC.,  Terán-Santofimio, H.,  Terán-Vargas, P., Valencia, S.,  and Willink, E.  2016. Current situation of pests targeted by Bt crops in Latin America. Current Opinion in Insect Science 15:131–138.
  • VanWoerkom, A. H., Acimovic, S.G., Sundin, G. W, Cregg, B., Mota-Sanchez, D, Vandervoort, C., and Wise, J. C. 2014. Trunk injection: An alternative technique for pesticide delivery in apples Crop protection 65:173-185.
  • Tabashnik, B. E., Mota-Sanchez, D., Whalon, M. E., R. M. Hollingworth, and Carriere, Y. 2014. Defining Terms for Proactive Management of Resistance to Bt Crops and Pesticides. J. Econ. Entomol. 107(2): 107(2): 496-507.
  • Alyokhin, A., Mota-Sanchez, D., Baker, M., Snyder, W., Menasha, S., Whalon, M., Dively, G., and Moarsi, W.F. 2014.The Red Queen in a potato field: integrated pest management versus chemical dependency in Colorado potato beetle control. DOI: 1002/ps.3826.
  • Baker, M., Hossain, K., Collie, K., Alyokhin, A., Mota-Sanchez, D., and Whalon, M. 2014. Geographic variation in cannibalism in Northern U.S. Colorado Potato Beetle Populations. Environ. Entomol 43 (1): 102-109.
  • Jie Chen, J., Alyokhin, A.,Mota-Sanchez, D. Baker, B., and Whalon, M. 2014. Variation in Fitness among Geographically Isolated Colorado Potato Beetle Populations. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 107(1):128-135.
  • Mota-Sanchez, D., B. M. Cregg, Hoffmann, E., Flore, J., and J. C. Wise. 2012. Penetrative and Dislodgeable Residue Characteristics of 14C-insecticides in Apple Fruit. J Agric Food Chem 60 (12): 2958-2966.
  • Tanis, S.R., Cregg, B.M., Mota-Sanchez, D., McCullough, D.G., and T.M. Poland. 2012. Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Trunk-injected 14C Imidacloprid in Ash Trees. Pest Manag Sci 68: 529-536.
  • Romero-Verdin, Gabriela, Cerna, Ernesto, Mota-Sanchez, David, J L., Victor V. 2012. Resistance of the two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch to fenbutatin oxide and bifenazate in berry crops. Resistant Pest Manag. Newsletters 22 (1) 34-37.
  • Mota-Sanchez, D., B. M. Cregg, D. G. McCullough, T. M. Poland, and R. M. Hollingworth. 2009. Distribution of Trunk-injected 14C Imidacloprid in Ash Trees and Effects on Emerald Ash Borer (Coleoptera:Buprestidae) Adults. Crop Protection 28 (8): 655-661.
  • Alyokhin, A., Baker, M., Mota-Sanchez, D., Grafius, E. and G., Dively. 2008. Colorado Potato Beetle Resistance to Insecticides. Am. J. Pot Res. 85:395–413.


  • Whalon, M.E., Mota-Sanchez, D., and Hollingworth, R.M. (eds.). 2008. Global Pesticide Resistance in Arthropods. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK. 192 p.
  • Maredia, K.M., Dakouo, D. and Mota-Sanchez, D. (eds). 2003. Integrated Pest Management in the Global Arena. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK. 512 p.


  • La Cosecha (the Harvest): Increasing the sustainability of first and next generation Latino farmers
    USDA NIFA BFRDP Award # [2017-70017-26860] Michigan State University
  • La Cosecha The Harvest: Incrementando la sustentabilidad de la primera y segunda generación de agricultores latinos