Does resistance really carry a fitness cost?
Current Opinion in Insect Science
Crown Copyright © 2017 Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Insecticide resistance mutations are widely assumed to carry fitness costs. However studies to measure such costs are rarely performed on genetically related strains and are often only done in the laboratory. Theory also suggests that once evolved the cost of resistance can be offset by the evolution of fitness modifiers. But for insecticide resistance only one such example is well documented. Here we critically examine the literature on fitness costs in the absence of pesticide and ask if our knowledge of molecular biology has helped us predict the costs associated with different resistance mechanisms. We find that resistance alleles can arise from pre-existing polymorphisms and resistance associated variation can also be maintained by sexual antagonism. We describe novel mechanisms whereby both resistant and susceptible alleles can be maintained in permanent heterozygosis and discuss the likely consequences for fitness both in the presence and absence of pesticide. Taken together these findings suggest that we cannot assume that resistance always appears de novo and that our assumptions about the associated fitness costs need to be informed by a deeper understanding of the underlying molecular biology.
Work on insecticide resistance in the ffrench-Constant and Bass laboratories is supported by the BBSRC (BB/H014268 to R. ff-C), the Royal Society (Wolfson Merit Award to R. ff-C) and the ERC (ERC Consolidator award to CB).
This is the final version of the article. Available from Elsevier via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 21, pp. 39 - 46