David G. Heckel

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Insecticide resistance is one of the most widespread genetic changes caused by human activity, but we still understand little about the origins and spread of resistant alleles in global populations of insects. Here, via microarray analysis of all P450s in Drosophila melanogaster, we show that DDT-R, a gene conferring resistance to DDT, is associated with(More)
Transgenic crops producing insecticidal toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are widely used for pest control. Bt-resistant insect strains have been studied, but the molecular basis of resistance has remained elusive. Here, we show that disruption of a cadherin-superfamily gene by retrotransposon-mediated insertion was linked to high levels of resistance(More)
Evolution of resistance by pests is the main threat to long-term insect control by transgenic crops that produce Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins. Because inheritance of resistance to the Bt toxins in transgenic crops is typically recessive, DNA-based screening for resistance alleles in heterozygotes is potentially much more efficient than detection of(More)
Gene silencing through RNA interference (RNAi) has revolutionized the study of gene function, particularly in non-model insects. However, in Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) RNAi has many times proven to be difficult to achieve. Most of the negative results have been anecdotal and the positive experiments have not been collected in such a way that they(More)
Transgenic crops producing insecticidal toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are commercially successful in reducing pest damage, yet knowledge of resistance mechanisms that threaten their sustainability is incomplete. Insect resistance to the pore-forming Cry1Ac toxin is correlated with the loss of high-affinity, irreversible binding to the mid-gut(More)
Restriction-site associated DNA (RAD) sequencing is a powerful new method for targeted sequencing across the genomes of many individuals. This approach has broad potential for genetic analysis of non-model organisms including genotype-phenotype association mapping, phylogeography, population genetics and scaffolding genome assemblies through linkage(More)
The risk of rapid pest adaptation to an insecticide is highly dependent on the initial frequency of resistance alleles in field populations. Because we have lacked empirical estimates of these frequencies, population-genetic models of resistance evolution have relied on a wide range of theoretical estimates. The recent commercialization of genetically(More)
Insect-specific baculoviruses are increasingly used as biological control agents of lepidopteran pests in agriculture and forestry, and they have been previously regarded as robust to resistance development by the insects. However, in more than a dozen cases of field resistance of the codling moth Cydia pomonella to commercially applied C. pomonella(More)
We compare the historical demographies of two Müllerian comimetic butterfly species: Heliconius erato and Heliconius melpomene. These species show an extensive parallel geographic divergence in their aposematic wing phenotypes. Recent studies suggest that this coincident mosaic results from simultaneous demographic processes shaped by extrinsic forces over(More)
Pheromone-based behaviours are crucial in animals from insects to mammals, and reproductive isolation is often based on pheromone differences. However, the genetic mechanisms by which pheromone signals change during the evolution of new species are largely unknown. In the sexual communication system of moths (Insecta: Lepidoptera), females emit a(More)