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Phosphine Resistance-Proteomics - Final report

Publication Type  Report
Year of Publication  2009
Authors  Campbell, P.
Prepared for  Cooperative Research Centre for National Plant Biosecurity
Pages  10
Date  06/2009

Phosphine is the main fumigant used in Australia to control insect pests in grain storages; both bulk grain handlers and farmers rely on phosphine for the control of insects and more than 80% of grain is fumigated with phosphine during storage. However, insect resistance to phosphine is increasing in most grain growing areas. To manage this resistance, a rapid and sensitive method for identifying phosphine resistance is required. The current detection method for phosphine resistance relies on time-consuming laboratory bioassay procedures (more than 7 days required).

A previous study (Park et al., 2008) had suggested that certain proteins, displayed by two-dimensional electrophoresis (2D-PAGE), from whole Rhyzopertha dominica, differed between resistant and susceptible insects and might be developed as a rapid diagnostic tool.

This project initially aimed to identify the genes encoding those differing proteins as a first step towards developing a diagnostic tool. However, when we used a larger number of strains of R. dominica and a more robust method the results of the previous study were not supported. We then proposed that this approach to biomarker discovery might yet be successful if we were to concentrate on a more appropriate subset of proteins for proteomic analysis.

Various lines of evidence suggested that mitochondria are a site of important differences associated with phosphine resistance. A proteomic comparison of mitochondrial proteins from susceptible and resistant Tribolium castaneum (chosen for its completed genome sequence) was therefore conducted. The study did not reveal any significant differences in the expression of the more abundant mitochondrial proteins between resistant and susceptible insects. The aim of identifying differentially expressed proteins that are diagnostic for phosphine resistance has been shown to be beyond the scope of this project.

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Phosphine Resistance-Proteomics

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