Resistance to cyclodiene insecticides, documented in at least 277 species, is perhaps the most common kind of resistance to any pesticide. By using cyclodiene resistance to localize the responsible gene, a γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptor/chloride ion-channel gene was previously cloned and sequenced from an insecticide-susceptible Drosophila melanogaster strain. We now describe the molecular genetics of the resistance allele. A single-base-pair mutation, causing a single-amino acid substitution (Ala → Ser) within the second membrane-spanning region of the channel, was found to be the only consistent difference between resistant and susceptible strains of D. melanogaster. Some resistant strains of Drosophila simulans show the same mutation, whereas others show an alternative single-base-pair mutation in the same codon, resulting in the substitution of a different amino acid (glycine). These constitute single-box-pair mutations in insects that confer high levels of resistance to insecticides. The presence of the resistance mutations was then tested in a much larger set of strains by the PCR and subsequent digestion with a diagnostic restriction endonuclease. Both resistance-associated mutations cause the loss of a Hae II site. This site was invariably present in 122 susceptible strains but absent in 58 resistant lines of the two species sampled from five continents. PCR/restriction endonuclease treatment was also used to examine linkage of an EcoRI polymorphism hi a neighboring intron in D. melanogaster, which was found associated with resistance in all but 3 of 48 strains examined. These PCR-based techniques are widely applicable to examination of the uniqueness of different resistance alleles in widespread populations, the identification of resistance mechanisms in different species, and the determination of resistance frequencies in monitoring.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Mar 1 1993|
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