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Data from: Loci contributing to boric acid toxicity in two reference populations of Drosophila melanogaster


Najarro, Michael A.; Hackett, Jennifer L.; Macdonald, Stuart J. (2018), Data from: Loci contributing to boric acid toxicity in two reference populations of Drosophila melanogaster, Dryad, Dataset,


Populations maintain considerable segregating variation in the response to toxic, xenobiotic compounds. To identify variants associated with resistance to boric acid, a commonly-used household insecticide with a poorly understood mechanism of action, we assayed thousands of individuals from hundreds of strains. Using the Drosophila Synthetic Population Resource (DSPR), a multi-parental population (MPP) of inbred genotypes, we mapped six QTL to short genomic regions containing few protein-coding genes (3–188), allowing us to identify plausible candidate genes underlying resistance to boric acid toxicity. One interval contains multiple genes from the cytochrome P450 family, and we show that ubiquitous RNAi of one of these genes, Cyp9b2, markedly reduces resistance to the toxin. Resistance to boric acid is positively correlated with caffeine resistance. The two phenotypes additionally share a pair of QTL, potentially suggesting a degree of pleiotropy in the genetic control of resistance to these two distinct xenobiotics. Finally, we screened the Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel (DGRP) in an attempt to identify sequence variants within mapped QTL that are associated with boric acid resistance. The approach was largely unsuccessful, with only one QTL showing any associations at QTL-specific 20% False Discovery Rate (FDR) thresholds. Nonetheless, these associations point to a potential candidate gene that can be targeted in future validation efforts. Although the mapping data resulting from the two reference populations do not clearly overlap, our work provides a starting point for further genetic dissection of the processes underlying boric acid toxicity in insects.

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