Xuan Cheng

Xuan Cheng, Research Assistant

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Xuan completed his masters degree in Taiwan, studying the association between acetylcholinesterase and carbofuran resistance in Chilo suppressalis (striped rice stem borer). He is currently studying for his doctorate with a focus on the pest management for Halotydeus destructor (redlegged earth mite, RLEM), an invasive species introduced from South Africa into Australia. RLEM is a winter-active mite pest, attacking a broad range of agriculturally significant plant species in Australia. Non-diapause eggs are deposited by the female in winter while diapause eggs were produced and contained in the female body. Diapause eggs can survive applications of pesticides as well as summer heat and desiccation. Currently registered pesticides can only kill mites of active stages (e.g., larvae, nymphs and adults) and hence applications of pesticides have to be carefully timed before the production of diapause eggs. Furthermore, pesticides resistance to pyrethroid and organophosphate chemicals in active mites have been found in some populations. In order to manage pesticide resistance, Xuan’s project includes three research areas:

  1. Understand the dominance pattern and fitness cost of L1024F substitution in the para gene in association with pyrethroid resistance.
  2. Investigate the mechanism of diapause induction and diapause intensity in order to improve the applications of pesticides.
  3. Survey the host adaptation of RLEM and the fitness cost during crop rotation, a non-chemical control option.

Publications:Cheng X., Umina P. A., and Hoffmann A. A. (2018) Influence of previous host plants on the reproductive success of a polyphagous mite pest, Halotydeus destructor (Trombidiformes: Penthaleidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. In Press (doi: 10.1093/jee/tox368)

Hill M. P., Hoffmann A. A., Umina P. A., Cheng X., Miller A. D. (2016) Genetic analysis along an invasion pathway reveals endemic cryptic taxa, but a single species with little population structure in the introduced range. Diversity and Distributions. 22: 57-72

Chang C., Cheng X., Huang X. Y., Dai. S.M. (2014) Amino acid substitutions of acetylcholinesterase associated with carbofuran resistance in Chilo suppressalis. Pest Management Science. 70: 1930-1935

Li C.X., Cheng X., and Dai S.M. (2011) Distribution and insecticide resistance of pink stem oorer, Sesamia inferens (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), in Taiwan. Formosan Entomologist 31: 39-50

Cheng X., Chang C., and Dai S.M. (2010) Responses of striped stem borer, Chilo suppressalis (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), from Taiwan to a range of pesticides. Pest Management Science. 66: 762–766


  1. Host performance of pests depends on plant types encountered in the previous generation: the case of the polyphagous redlegged earth mite pest, Halotydeus destructor. Combined Australian Entomological Society /New Zealand Entomological Society Conference in Melbourne, Australia
  2. The fitness cost of bifenthrin resistance of the redlegged earth mite, Halotydeus destructor. The 46th AGM & Scientific Conference of the Australian Entomological Society in Cairns, Australia
  3. Distribution of rice stem borers and insecticide resistance of Chilo suppressalis (Walker) in Taiwan. 27th Congress of Taiwan Entomology Society in Taipei, Taiwan,


2016 GSSA (Government Scholarship to Study Abroad) of Taiwan Ministry of Education

2013 MIFRS and MIRS of University of Melbourne

2012 Outstanding Paper Award of Taiwan Entomological Society (台灣昆蟲學會101年度最佳論文獎)