Evolution of Drosophila insecticide resistance

Genome. 1993 Feb;36(1):1-7. doi: 10.1139/g93-001.


The impact of insecticide resistance is well documented. It includes the toxic effects of pesticides on the environment and the cost of the increased amounts of insecticides required to effectively control resistant insects. Resistance evolves by the selection of genes that confer tolerance to insecticides. Several resistance genes have been identified and cloned in Drosophila, including genes for mutant target molecules and genes that increase insecticide degradation. Drosophila is a useful system to understand the evolution of quantitative traits in general as well as the population genetics of insecticide resistance. Through it, we may hope to understand the relationship between discrete genetic change and continuously varying characters. In addition, molecular genetic techniques developed using Drosophila can eventually be transferred to other insects in order to help control pest populations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholinesterase / genetics
  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila / metabolism
  • Glutathione Transferase / genetics
  • Insect Proteins*
  • Insecticide Resistance / genetics*
  • Juvenile Hormones / metabolism
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases / genetics
  • Receptors, GABA-A / genetics
  • Sodium Channels / genetics


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Insect Proteins
  • Juvenile Hormones
  • Receptors, GABA-A
  • Sodium Channels
  • juvenile hormone-binding protein, insect
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases
  • Glutathione Transferase
  • Acetylcholinesterase