The skill and style to model the evolution of resistance to pesticides and drugs

Evol Appl. 2010 Jul;3(4):375-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-4571.2010.00124.x. Epub 2010 Mar 29.


Resistance to pesticides and drugs led to the development of theoretical models aimed at identifying the main factors of resistance evolution and predicting the efficiency of resistance management strategies. We investigated the various ways in which the evolution of resistance has been modelled over the last three decades, by reviewing 187 articles published on models of the evolution of resistance to all major classes of pesticides and drugs. We found that (i) the technical properties of the model were most strongly influenced by the class of pesticide or drug and the target organism, (ii) the resistance management strategies studied were quite similar for the different classes of pesticides or drugs, except that the refuge strategy was mostly used in models of the evolution of resistance to insecticidal proteins, (iii) economic criteria were rarely used to evaluate the evolution of resistance and (iv) the influence of mutation, migration and drift on the speed of resistance development has been poorly investigated. We propose guidelines for the future development of theoretical models of the evolution of resistance. For instance, we stress the potential need to give more emphasis to the three evolutionary forces migration, mutation and genetic drift rather than simply selection.

Keywords: drugs; evolution of resistance; mathematical modelling; pesticides; resistance to xenobiotics.