Probing insecticide biology using Drosophila melanogaster
School of BioSciences
Document TypePhD thesis
Access StatusOpen Access
© 2017 Dr. Shane Denecke
Insecticides are often used to control insect pests, but resistance to these chemicals arises quickly, leading to agricultural losses and public health concerns. Understanding how insects cope with insecticides is necessary when designing rational pest management strategies, but much still remains unknown regarding the fate of insecticides once inside the body. Furthermore, the genetic variation that governs an insects ability to survive insecticide exposures has not been fully described. Here, a 3 pronged approach is applied to study insecticide biology using the model insect Drosophila melanogaster. First, an acute, sub-lethal insecticide response assay was developed, which provided information complementary to that obtained from more common toxicology assays. In particular, behavioural response observed in a hyper-resistant target site mutant suggests additional target sites for the insecticide spinosad. This bioassay was then applied in a forward genetics approach to describe the genetic basis of resistance to the insecticide imidacloprid. This approach identified a variety of neuronal genes and the previously identified drug metabolizing enzyme Cyp6g1, which was explored through genetic manipulation. Finally, a reverse genetics approach was employed in order to study the effect of an ABC transporter protein Mdr65 on insecticide resistance. Removing the gene made the insects more susceptible to a subset of the insecticides tested, and this was confirmed with genetic and chemical complementation tests. These data provide information both on the genetics and kinetics of insecticide biology. Such information will help to better understand insecticide resistance and design rational resistance management strategies.
Keywordsgenetics; Drosophila; insecticide; drug resistance; P450; ABC transporter
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