Structural Variants and Selective Sweep Foci Contribute to Insecticide Resistance in the Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel

G3 (Bethesda). 2018 Nov 6;8(11):3489-3497. doi: 10.1534/g3.118.200619.


Patterns of nucleotide polymorphism within populations of Drosophila melanogaster suggest that insecticides have been the selective agents driving the strongest recent bouts of positive selection. However, there is a need to explicitly link selective sweeps to the particular insecticide phenotypes that could plausibly account for the drastic selective responses that are observed in these non-target insects. Here, we screen the Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel with two common insecticides; malathion (an organophosphate) and permethrin (a pyrethroid). Genome-wide association studies map survival on malathion to two of the largest sweeps in the D. melanogaster genome; Ace and Cyp6g1 Malathion survivorship also correlates with lines which have high levels of Cyp12d1, Jheh1 and Jheh2 transcript abundance. Permethrin phenotypes map to the largest cluster of P450 genes in the Drosophila genome, however in contrast to a selective sweep driven by insecticide use, the derived allele seems to be associated with susceptibility. These results underscore previous findings that highlight the importance of structural variation to insecticide phenotypes: Cyp6g1 exhibits copy number variation and transposable element insertions, Cyp12d1 is tandemly duplicated, the Jheh loci are associated with a Bari1 transposable element insertion, and a Cyp6a17 deletion is associated with susceptibility.

Keywords: Cyp6a17; Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel (DGRP); acetylcholinesterase; malathion; permethrin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / genetics
  • DNA Copy Number Variations
  • Drosophila melanogaster / drug effects
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Insecticide Resistance / genetics*
  • Insecticides / toxicity
  • Lethal Dose 50
  • Malathion / toxicity
  • Male
  • Permethrin / toxicity
  • Phenotype
  • Transcriptome


  • Insecticides
  • Permethrin
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Malathion

Associated data

  • figshare/10.25387/g3.6954443