Adaptation of insect phenotypes for survival after exposure to xenobiotics can result from selection at multiple loci with additive genetic effects. To the authors’ knowledge, no selective sweep analysis has been performed to identify such loci in highly dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) resistant insects. Here we compared a highly DDT resistant phenotype in the Drosophila melanogaster (Drosophila) 91-R strain to the DDT susceptible 91-C strain, both of common origin. Whole genome re-sequencing data from pools of individuals was generated separately for 91-R and 91-C, and mapped to the reference Drosophila genome assembly (v. 5.72). Thirteen major and three minor effect chromosome intervals with reduced nucleotide diversity (π) were identified only in the 91-R population. Estimates of Tajima's D (D) showed corresponding evidence of directional selection in these same genome regions of 91-R, however, no similar reductions in π or D estimates were detected in 91-C. An overabundance of non-synonymous proteins coding to synonymous changes were identified in putative open reading frames associated with 91-R. Except for NinaC and Cyp4g1, none of the identified genes were the ‘usual suspects’ previously observed to be associated with DDT resistance. Additionally, up-regulated ATP-binding cassette transporters have been previously associated with DDT resistance; however, here we identified a structurally altered MDR49 candidate resistance gene. The remaining fourteen genes have not previously been shown to be associated with DDT resistance. These results suggest hitherto unknown mechanisms of DDT resistance, most of which have been overlooked in previous transcriptional studies, with some genes having orthologs in mammals.


Steele LD, Coates B, Valero MC, Sun W, Seong KM, Muir WM, et al. (2015) Selective Sweep Analysis in the Genomes of the 91-R and 91-C Drosophila melanogaster Strains Reveals Few of the ‘Usual Suspects’ in Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) Resistance. PLoS ONE 10(3): e0123066. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0123066

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