3 David Schlipalius Andrew Tuck Rajeswaran Jagadeesan Ramandeep Kaur Roberto Barrero Paul Ebert 2011 Mechanisms of phosphine toxicity and resistance Science Exchange 2011 Barossa Valley 09/02/2011 <p>Phosphine resistance is a serious developing problem for food security worldwide, especially for stored grains. The Australian grains industry especially is heavily reliant on this fumigant to maintain insect-free grain. In order to enhance resistance management strategies, we have aimed to identify the genes responsible for resistance in order develop genetic markers, so that rapid testing of field collected insects can be performed.</p> <p>We have used genetic linkage and next-generation genomic sequencing approaches to identify the genes responsible for phosphine resistance in the pest insects <em>Tribolium castaneum </em>(Rust Red Flour Beetle) and <em>Rhyzopertha dominica </em>(Lesser Grain Borer). To date, we have found through genetic studies that high-level resistance is conferred by two loci, <em>rph1</em> and <em>rph2</em> that have synergistic interactions.</p> <p>We have also found through genetic complementation studies that these resistance loci are highly conserved within species. We have identified one gene at the <em>rph2</em> locus, responsible for high-level resistance in both <em>T. castaneum </em>and <em>R. dominica</em>, demonstrating that resistance is also well conserved between species. Sequencing of the mutations that confer resistance in this gene from multiple high-level resistant strains has highlighted the probable mechanism for phosphine mode of action as well as mechanisms for resistance. The biological effect of the phosphine mode of action has strong implications for redox biology and also fumigant chemistry.</p>