A population of Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus (Canestrini) (Acari: Ixodidae), designated Coatzacoalcos, sampled from a ranch near Veracruz, Mexico, was found to possess a high level of resistance to pyrethroid-based acaricides. Bioassay and biochemical and molecular analysis had previously shown that resistance in this population could primarily be attributed to expression of a highly active metabolic esterase designated CzEST9. We cloned and sequenced the entire CzEST9 coding region, including introns and >1.0 kb upstream from the transcription start site, and we compared the upstream region sequence between individual resistant and susceptible ticks from several populations with different pyrethroid resistance characteristics. In the 1.0-kb upstream region sequence, four variant nucleotides were found, and a TGA trinucleotide occurred as either four, five, or nine tandem repeats. However, none of these promoter region sequence differences could be clearly associated with a pyrethroid-resistant phenotype; thus, we concluded that differences in gene promoter sequence were not responsible for the pyrethroid resistance mechanism in the Cz strain. CzEST9 was expressed in recombinant Escherichia coli and Pichia pastoris systems and esterase activity was obtained in recombinant CzEST9 from the P. pastoris system.
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Vol. 45 • No. 4