The housefly is a global pest that has developed resistance to most insecticides applied against it. Resistance of the spinosad-resistant strain 791spin and the neonicotinoid-resistant 766b strain is believed to be due to metabolism. We investigate differentially expressed genes in these two resistant strains related to metabolism in comparison with an insecticide-susceptible reference strain.
Genes involved in metabolism of xenobiotics were primarily up-regulated in resistant flies with some differences between resistant strains. The cyp4g98 and cyp6g4 genes proved interesting in terms of neonicotinoid resistance, while cyp4d9 was overexpressed in 791spin compared to spinosad-susceptible strains. GSTs, ESTs and UGTs were mostly overexpressed, but not to the same degree as P450s. We present a comprehensive and comparative picture of gene expression in three housefly strains differing significantly in their response to insecticides. High differential expression of P450s and genes coding for cuticle protein indicates a combination of factors involved in metabolic neonicotinoid and spinosad resistance.