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PLoS One. 2014 Apr 2;9(4):e93489. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0093489. eCollection 2014.

The mechanisms underlying α-amanitin resistance in Drosophila melanogaster: a microarray analysis.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan, United States of America.
Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America.
School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan, United States of America.


The rapid evolution of toxin resistance in animals has important consequences for the ecology of species and our economy. Pesticide resistance in insects has been a subject of intensive study; however, very little is known about how Drosophila species became resistant to natural toxins with ecological relevance, such as α-amanitin that is produced in deadly poisonous mushrooms. Here we performed a microarray study to elucidate the genes, chromosomal loci, molecular functions, biological processes, and cellular components that contribute to the α-amanitin resistance phenotype in Drosophila melanogaster. We suggest that toxin entry blockage through the cuticle, phase I and II detoxification, sequestration in lipid particles, and proteolytic cleavage of α-amanitin contribute in concert to this quantitative trait. We speculate that the resistance to mushroom toxins in D. melanogaster and perhaps in mycophagous Drosophila species has evolved as cross-resistance to pesticides, other xenobiotic substances, or environmental stress factors.

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