Heterogeneity of the glutathione transferase genes encoding enzymes responsible for insecticide degradation in the housefly

Michael Syvanen, Zonghan Zhou, Jonathan Wharton, Claire Goldsbury, Alan Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


One of the four glutathione-S-transferases (GST) that is overproduced in the insecticide-resistant Cornell-R strain of the housefly (Musca domestica) produces an activity that degrades the insecticide dimethyl parathion and conjugates glutathione to lindane. In earlier work, it was shown that the resistant Comell-R carries an amplification, probably a duplication, of one or more of its GST loci and that this amplification is directly related to resistance. Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification with genomic DNA, multiple copies of the gene encoding the parathion-degrading activity (called MdGst-3) were subcloned from both the ancestral, insecticide- susceptible strain BPM and from the insecticide-resistant Cornell-R. In BPM, three different MdGst-3 genes were identified while in Cornell-R, 12 different MdGst-3 sequences were found that, though closely related to ancestral genes, had diverged by a few nucleotides. This diversity in MdGst- 3 genomic sequences in Cornell-R is reflected in the expressed sequences, as sampled through a cDNA bank. Population heterozygosity cannot account for these multiple GST genes. We suggest that selection for resistance to insecticides has resulted in not only amplification of the MdGst-3 genes but also in the divergence of sequence between the amplified copies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)236-240
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Molecular Evolution
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996


  • Enzymes
  • Glutathione transferase genes
  • Housefly
  • Insecticide degradation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Heterogeneity of the glutathione transferase genes encoding enzymes responsible for insecticide degradation in the housefly'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this