Understanding Resistance and Induced Responses of Insects to Xenobiotics and Insecticides in the Age of "Omics" and Systems Biology

Barry Robert Pittendrigh, Venu Madhav Margam, Kent R. Walters, Laura D. Steele, Brett P. Olds, Lijie Sun, Joseph Huesing, Si Hyeock Lee, John M. Clark

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


We tend to think of the word resistance in terms of evolutionary changes in an insect population that occur in response to repetitive exposures to pesticides or other xenobiotics used to manage insect pests in crops, homes, and gardens, or on livestock or humans (including disease vectors). Resistance can also be defined in broader terms since insects are "resistant" to many naturally occurring abiotic and biotic factors they encounter in their environment. In this chapter, we will outline the concepts associated with pesticide resistance, as well as provide examples of some of the known mechanisms associated with resistance. In addition, we will also discuss the broader context of how we can use emergent ". omics" tools, such as genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, to better understand and discover resistance mechanisms. As RNAi is an emerging potential approach for insect control, we also discuss the potential for resistance in insect populations to RNAi pest control strategies. Finally, we will discuss how we can use this information to develop strategies that minimize the impact of insects on human health, food, and property.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInsect Resistance Management
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherElsevier Ltd
Number of pages44
ISBN (Print)9780123969552
StatePublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Increased sequestration
  • Omics tools
  • Pesticide resistance
  • Reduced penetration
  • Target site insensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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