Cyclodiene resistance represents 60% of the reported cases of insecticide resistance and is also present in vertebrates. Resistance is due to insensitivity of the cyclodiene/picrotoxinin binding site on the gamma-aminobutyric acid subtype A (GABAA) receptor-chloride ionophore complex. Following isolation of cyclodiene-resistant Drosophila mutants, we report the cloning of the locus conferring resistance via a "chromosomal walk" and rescue of the susceptible phenotype by P-element-mediated germ-line transformation. Amino acid sequence analysis of a cDNA from the locus reveals homology with vertebrate GABAA subunits. To our knowledge, this represents the first cloning of an invertebrate GABA receptor and also allows us to manipulate the resistance status of an insect via germ-line transformation. This gene may be useful as a selectable marker in other insect systems.