The insect sodium channel is of particular interest for evaluating resistance to pyrethroids because it is the target molecule for this major class of neurotoxic insecticides. The stable fly, Stomoxys calcitrans (L.) (Diptera: Muscidae), sodium channel coding sequence representing domains IS6 through IVS6 was isolated, and the sequence encoding domain II was compared among individuals of a laboratory strain selected for resistance to permethrin and the unselected, parental generation. A point mutation resulting in a leucine-to-histidine amino acid change was identified (Leu1014His), and its location corresponded with that observed for knockdown resistance (kdr) mutations in other insects. As a result, the allele was designated kdr-his. A molecular assay was developed to assess the frequency of this mutation in genomic DNA of individual stable flies from the laboratory selections, which provided further evidence that the kdr-his allele accounts for the observed level of permethrin resistance in the selected strain. The assay was then used to evaluate the frequency of the mutation from five field-collected populations originating from three horse farms near Ocala, FL; one horse farm near Gainesville, FL; and one dairy farm near Hague, FL. Frequency of the kdr-his allele ranged from 0.46 to 0.78, supporting further investigation of allele prevalence throughout the stable fly season and in response to field insecticide application.
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Vol. 104 • No. 1