The tobacco aphid Myzus persicae nicotianae
Blackman is a subspecies of the highly polyphagous and agricultural pest Myzus persicae
(Sulzer). For its control, insecticide applications are widely used, but resistance to numerous molecules has been reported, displaying at least three insecticide resistance mechanisms, including: (i) elevated carboxylesterases (E-Carb), (ii) modification of the acetylcholinesterase (MACE), and (iii) kdr
insensitivity mutations. In Chile, populations of the tobacco aphid are characterized by the presence of a single predominant clone, which is also present in high proportions in other countries of the Americas. This aphid clone exhibits low levels of carboxylesterase activity and is kdr
susceptible, but the MACE mechanism of insecticide resistance has not been studied. In order to characterize the tobacco aphid in terms of the MACE mechanism and to identify a preliminary group of aphid genes putatively involved in insecticide resistance, a cDNA microarray was used to study the transcriptomic responses when aphids are sprayed with a carbamate insecticide. The single Chilean clone of the tobacco aphid was characterized as MACE susceptible, but we found 38 transcripts significantly regulated by insecticide exposure (13 up- and 25 down-regulated genes). The expression of six of them was validated by qRT-PCR experiments at several time points (6, 12, 18, 24, 30, 36, and 42 h) after insecticide application. This mutational and transcriptomic characterization of the tobacco aphid responding to insecticide spray opens new hypotheses in the understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying insecticide resistance.