The adaptation of herbivorous insects to their host plants is hypothesized to be intimately associated with their ubiquitous development of resistance to synthetic pesticides. However, not much is known about the mechanisms underlying the relationship between detoxification of plant toxins and synthetic pesticides. To address this knowledge gap, we used specialist pest Colorado potato beetle (CPB) and its host plant, potato, as a model system. Next-generation sequencing (454 pyrosequencing) was performed to reveal the CPB transcriptome. Differential expression patterns of cytochrome P450 complement (CYPome) were analyzed between the susceptible (S) and imidacloprid resistant (R) beetles. We also evaluated the global transcriptome repertoire of CPB CYPome in response to the challenge by potato leaf allelochemicals and imidacloprid. The results showed that more than half (51.2%) of the CBP cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (P450s) that are up-regulated in the R strain are also induced by both host plant toxins and pesticide in a tissue-specific manner. These data suggest that xenobiotic adaptation in this specialist herbivore is through up-regulation of multiple P450s that are potentially involved in detoxifying both pesticide and plant allelochemicals.
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