My research has focused on the biology of natural populations and, although I have worked on the genetic structure of many species, the common mosquito Culex pipiens was the biological model that led my career. In 1975, I observed a correlation between resistance to organophosphorous insecticides and the presence of an esterase with high activity in the south of France. Soon other esterases were identified in different parts of the world, and it was established (through crosses) that they were resistance genes. What was the mechanism controlling this high esterase activity? How was changing the frequency of resistance genes in natural populations? These two questions guided my work over the years and involved many students and collaborators.
1. Pasteur N, Sinègre G, 1975. Esterase polymorphism and sensitivity to Dursban organophosphorous insecticide in Culex pipiens pipiens populations. Biochemical Genetics 13: 789-803.
2. Mouchès C, Pasteur N, Bergé JB, Hyrien O, Raymond M, Robert de Saint Vincent B, de Silvestri M, Georghiou GP, 1986. Amplification of an esterase gene is responsible for insecticide resistance in a California Culex mosquito. Science 233: 778-780.
3. Raymond M, Callaghan A, Fort P, Pasteur N, 1991. Worldwide migration of amplified insecticide resistance genes in mosquitoes. Nature 350: 151-153
4. Guillemaud T, Lenormand T, Bourguet D, Chevillon C, Pasteur N, Raymond M, 1998. Evolution of resistance in Culex pipiens: allele replacement and changing environment. Evolution 52: 443-453.
5. Weill M, Lutfalla G, Mogensen K, Chandre F, Berthomieu A, Berticat C, Pasteur N, Philips A, Fort P, Raymond M, 2003. Insecticide resistance in mosquito vectors. Nature 423: 136-137.