Multiple mutations and gene duplications conferring organophosphorus insecticide resistance have been selected at the Rop-1 locus of the sheep blowfly, Lucilia cuprina

Richard D. Newcomb, Dianne M. Gleeson, Catherine G. Yong, Robyn J. Russell, John G. Oakeshott

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Sequences of the esterase gene αE7 were compared across 41 isogenic (IV) strains of the sheep blowfly, Lucilia cuprina, and one strain of the sibling species, L. sericata. The 1.2-kb region sequenced includes sites of two insecticide resistance mutations. Gly137Asp confers resistance to organophosphorus insecticides (OPs), particularly preferring diethyl OPs such as diazinon, while Trp251Leu prefers dimethyl OPs, and particularly malathion, with the additional presence of carboxylester moieties. We found that there are just eight haplotypes among the 41 chromosomes studied: two Gly137Asp containing haplotypes, two Trp251Leu containing haplotypes, and four susceptible haplotypes, including the L. sericata sequence. While phylogenetic analysis of these haplotypes suggests that the Asp137 and Leu251 mutations each arose at least twice, evidence for recombination was detected across the region, therefore single origins for these resistance mutations cannot be ruled out. Levels of linkage disequilibrium in the data are high and significant hitchhiking is indicated by Fay and Wu' s H test but not the Tajima test. A test of haplotype diversity indicates a paucity of diversity compared with neutral expectations. Both these results are consistent with a very recent selective sweep at the LcαE7 locus. Interestingly, gene duplications of three different combinations of OP resistant haplotypes were identified in seven of the isogenic (IV) strains. All three types of duplication involve an Asp137 and a Trp251 haplotype. To examine whether more haplotypes existed before the hypothesised selective sweep, fragments of αE7 surrounding the resistance mutations were amplified from pinned material dating back to before OPs were used. Four new sequence haplotypes, not sampled in the survey of extant haplotypes, were obtained that are all associated with susceptibility. This is suggestive of a higher historical level of susceptible allelic diversity at this locus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-220
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Molecular Evolution
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes


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