Multiplicative interaction between the two major mechanisms of permethrin resistance, kdr and cytochrome P450-monooxygenase detoxification, in mosquitoes

J Evol Biol. 2009 Feb;22(2):416-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2008.01661.x.


Epistasis is the nonadditive interaction between different loci which contribute to a phenotype. Epistasis between independent loci conferring insecticide resistance is important to investigate as this phenomenon can shape the rate that resistance evolves and can dictate the level of resistance in the field. The evolution of insecticide resistance in mosquitoes is a growing and world-wide problem. The two major mechanisms that confer resistance to permethrin in Culex mosquitoes are target site insensitivity (i.e. kdr) and enhanced detoxification by cytochrome P450 monooxygenases. Using three strains of mosquitoes, and crosses between these strains, we assessed the relative contribution of the two independent loci conferring permethrin resistance, individually and when present together. We found that for all genotype combinations tested, Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus exhibited multiplicative interactions between kdr and P450 detoxification, whether the resistance alleles were homozygous or heterozygous. These results provide a basis for further analysis of the evolution and maintenance of insecticide resistance in mosquitoes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Culex* / drug effects
  • Culex* / enzymology
  • Culex* / genetics
  • Drug Resistance / genetics*
  • Female
  • Insecticides / toxicity*
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Permethrin / toxicity*


  • Insecticides
  • Permethrin