Publication Date

April 2018


Joseph Coolon


Biology (BIOL)


English (United States)


Over the past century, the harmful impact that pesticides have had both on our environment and on a wide range of species has become increasingly clear. Among these impacted species are a variety of insects, including many fruit flies in the genus Drosophila?. As a result of pesticide exposure, ?Drosophila? species have developed an evolved resistance to these man-made, highly toxic xenobiotics. This study looks at the resistance to Deltamethrin and Dibrom, two pesticides within two of the main classes of pesticides in four species of ?Drosophila. ?By drawing comparisons between the four recently diverged species ?D. melanogaster, D. sechellia, D. simulans ?and ?D. mauritiana?, I identified significant differences in pesticide resistance between them. Then, through the use of synergists piperonyl butoxide (PBO) and diethyl maleate (DEM), I investigated the role of two gene families in ?Drosophila ?that are known to be responsible for detoxification: ?Cytochrome P450s ?(?CYP450s?)?, ?and Glutathione-S-Transferases ?(GSTs)?.? When these gene families are knocked down, the differences in resistance between species? ?supports a phylogenetic model where ?D. sechellia ?and ?D. simulans ?are the least diverged from one another. By continuing to accumulate findings such as these, it will be possible to investigate the role of these gene families in resistance to a vast array of pesticides. Through this research we continue to unfold the organismal and molecular impact of our agricultural and pesticide industries.



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