Resistance in the Post-Genomics Age

Barry R. Pittendrigh, Venu M. Margam, Lijie Sun, Joseph E. Huesing

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter reviews what is known about insect resistance in a select group of classic pesticide classes and then discusses some exciting new possibilities that ". Omics" may provide for the near future. The potential importance of understanding the molecular mechanism by which insects resist environmental challenges is also discussed. An "Achilles' heel trait" as a target molecule that, when inhibited (or negatively impacted), reduces the ability of an organism or a population of organisms to persist in a specific environmental condition or challenge has been defined. Examples are illustrated that insects use evolutionarily conserved resistance mechanisms common to all animals (e.g., some aspects of oxidative stress) as well as those that are particular to insects (e.g., the peritrophic membrane in the digestive system). Finally, we have illustrated how the ". Omics" revolution is just beginning to reveal more in-depth knowledge of the system-wide bases of these mechanisms (e.g., metabolic pesticide resistance). Perhaps not surprising, but none the less exciting, are emerging examples of the involvement of hitherto unidentified genes and mechanisms involved in resistance. These findings should allow us to identify novel and safe pesticides as well as better design resistance management strategies to ensure their long-term utility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInsect Resistance Management
PublisherElsevier Ltd
Number of pages30
ISBN (Print)9780123738585
StatePublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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