by Pierre Franck, Myriam Siegwart, Jerome Olivares, Jean-François Toubon, Claire Lavigne
Resistance to insecticides is one interesting example of a rapid current evolutionary change. DNA variability in the voltage-gated sodium channel gene (trans-membrane segments 5 and 6 in domain II) was investigated in order to estimate resistance evolution to pyrethroid in codling moth populations at the World level. DNA variation among 38 sequences revealed a unique kdr mutation (L1014F) involved in pyrethroid resistance in this gene region, which likely resulted from several convergent substitutions. The analysis of codling moth samples from 52 apple orchards in 19 countries using a simple PCR-RFLP confirmed that this kdr mutation is almost worldwide distributed. The proportions of kdr mutation were negatively correlated with the annual temperatures in the sampled regions. Homozygous kdr genotypes in the French apple orchards showed lower P450 cytochrome oxidase activities than other genotypes. The most plausible interpretation of the geographic distribution of kdr in codling moth populations is that it has both multiple independent origins and a spreading limited by low temperature and negative interaction with the presence of alternative resistance mechanisms to pyrethroid in the populations.