Cis- And trans-acting variants contribute to survivorship in a naïve Drosophila melanogaster population exposed to ryanoid insecticides

Llewellyn Green, Paul Battlay, Alexandre Fournier-Level, Robert T. Good, Charles Robin

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Insecticide resistance is a paradigm of microevolution, and insecticides are responsible for the strongest cases of recent selection in the genome of Drosophila melanogaster. Herewe use a naïve population and a novel insecticide class to examine the ab initio genetic architecture of a potential selective response. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of chlorantraniliprole susceptibility reveal variation in a gene of major effect, Stretchin Myosin light chain kinase (Strn-Mlck), which we validate with linkagemapping and transgenic manipulation of gene expression. We propose that allelic variation in Strn-Mlck alters sensitivity to the calcium depletion attributable to chlorantraniliprole's mode of action. GWAS also reveal a network of genes involved in neuromuscular biology. In contrast, phenotype to transcriptome associations identify differences in constitutive levels of multiple transcripts regulated by cnc, the homolog of mammalian Nrf2. This suggests that genetic variation acts in trans to regulate multiple metabolic enzymes in this pathway. The most outstanding association is with the transcription level of Cyp12d1 which is also affected in cis by copy number variation. Transgenic overexpression of Cyp12d1 reduces susceptibility to both chlorantraniliprole and the closely related insecticide cyantraniliprole. This systems genetics study reveals multiple allelic variants segregating at intermediate frequency in a population that is completely naïve to this new insecticide chemistry and it foreshadows a selective response among natural populations to these chemicals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10424-10429
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Cap'n'collar
  • chlorantraniliprole
  • Cyp12d1
  • DGRP
  • Strn-Mlck

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