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Duneau, D., Sun, H., Revah, J., San Miguel, K., Kunerth, H.D., Caldas, I.V., Messer, P.W., Scott, J.G., Buchon, N. (2018). Signatures of Insecticide Selection in the Genome of Drosophila melanogaster.  G3 (Bethesda) 8(11): 3469--3480.
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Research paper

Resistance to insecticides has evolved in multiple insect species, leading to increased application rates and even control failures. Understanding the genetic basis of insecticide resistance is fundamental for mitigating its impact on crop production and disease control. We performed a GWAS approach with the Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel (DGRP) to identify the mutations involved in resistance to two widely used classes of insecticides: organophosphates (OPs, parathion) and pyrethroids (deltamethrin). Most variation in parathion resistance was associated with mutations in the target gene Ace, while most variation in deltamethrin resistance was associated with mutations in Cyp6a23, a gene encoding a detoxification enzyme never previously associated with resistance. A "nested GWAS" further revealed the contribution of other loci: Dscam1 and trpl were implicated in resistance to parathion, but only in lines lacking WolbachiaCyp6a17, the paralogous gene of Cyp6a23, and CG7627, an ATP-binding cassette transporter, were implicated in deltamethrin resistance. We observed signatures of recent selective sweeps at all of these resistance loci and confirmed that the soft sweep at Ace is indeed driven by the identified resistance mutations. Analysis of allele frequencies in additional population samples revealed that most resistance mutations are segregating across the globe, but that frequencies can vary substantially among populations. Altogether, our data reveal that the widely used OP and pyrethroid insecticides imposed a strong selection pressure on natural insect populations. However, it remains unclear why, in Drosophila, resistance evolved due to changes in the target site for OPs, but due to a detoxification enzyme for pyrethroids.

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PMC6222576 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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    G3 (Bethesda)
    G3 : genes - genomes - genetics
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