The inheritance of resistance to phosphine was studied in two strains of the lesser grain borer, Rhyzopertha dominica (F.), labeled ‘Weak-R’ and ‘Strong-R’. These strains were purified versions of field-selected populations collected in Queensland, Australia. Weak-R and Strong-R were, respectively, 23.4 times (20-h exposure) and 600 times (48-h exposure) resistant to phosphine compared with a reference susceptible strain (S-strain). Each -R strain was crossed with the S-strain and the response to phosphine was measured in their respective F1, F2, and F1-backcross (F1-BC) progenies. Data from testing of reciprocal F1 progeny indicated that resistance in Weak-R was autosomal and incompletely recessive with a degree of dominance -0.96. Modified chi-square analysis and contingency analysis of the observed response to phosphine of F1-BC and F2 progenies rejected the hypothesis of single gene inheritance of resistance. Analysis of the response of the F1, F2, and F1-BC progeny from the Strong-R x S-strain cross also rejected the null hypothesis for single gene resistance. Resistance in the Strong-R strain was autosomal and incompletely recessive with a degree of dominance of -0.64. The Weak-R and Strong-R strains were then crossed. Analysis of the F1and F2 progenies of this reciprocal cross revealed that the strong resistance phenotype was coded by a combination of the genes already present in the Weak-R genotype plus an extra major, incompletely recessive gene. There was also evidence of a minor dominant gene present in ≈5% of Strong-R individuals.
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Vol. 95 • No. 4