Why are there so few resistance-associated mutations in insecticide target genes?

Richard H. Ffrench-Constant, Barry Pittendrigh, Ashley Vaughan, Nicola Anthony

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The genes encoding the three major targets of conventional insecticides are: Rdl, which encodes a γ-aminobutyric acid receptor subunit (RDL); para, which encodes a voltage-gated sodium channel (PARA); and Ace, which encodes insect acetylcholinesterase (ACHE). Interestingly, despite the complexity of the encoded receptors or enzymes, very few amino acid residues are replaced in different resistant insects: one within RDL, two within PARA and three or more within ACHE. Here we examine the possible reasons underlying this extreme conservation by looking at the aspects of receptor and/or enzyme function that may constrain replacements to such a limited number of residues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1685-1693
Number of pages9
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1376
StatePublished - Oct 29 1998


  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Insecticide resistance
  • Para
  • Rdl
  • Voltage-gated sodium channel
  • γ-aminobutyric acid receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Why are there so few resistance-associated mutations in insecticide target genes?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this