Published online by Cambridge University Press: 09 August 2021
Cytochrome P450 monooxygenases play a key role in pest resistance to insecticides by detoxification. Four new P450 genes, CYP6AS160, CYP6AS161, CYP4AB73 and CYP4G232 were identified from Solenopsis invicta. CYP6AS160 was highly expressed in the abdomen and its expression could be induced significantly with exposure to fipronil, whereas CYP4AB73 was not highly expressed in the abdomen and its expression could not be significantly induced following exposure to fipronil. Expression levels of CYP6AS160 and CYP4AB73 in workers were significantly higher than that in queens. RNA interference-mediated gene silencing by feeding on double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) found that the levels of this transcript decreased (by maximum to 64.6%) when they fed on CYP6AS160-specific dsRNA. Workers fed dsCYP6AS160 had significantly higher mortality after 24 h of exposure to fipronil compared to controls. Workers fed dsCYP6AS160 had reduced total P450 activity of microsomal preparations toward model substrates p-nitroanisole. However, the knockdown of a non-overexpressed P450 gene, CYP4AB73 did not lead to an increase of mortality or a decrease of total P450 activity. The knockdown effects of CYP6AS160 on worker susceptibility to fipronil, combined with our other findings, indicate that CYP6AS160 is responsible for detoxification of fipronil. Feeding insects dsRNA may be a general strategy to trigger RNA interference and may find applications in entomological research and in the control of insect pests in the field.
These authors contributed equally to this work.