Risk of Western Corn Rootworm Adaptation to Transgenic Corn
Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research
2010 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Identify molecular markers associated with resistance to Cry3Bb1 Bt corn in replicated colonies of WCR populations that are reared on isoline or Bt corn.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
A genome scan using a large number of SNP markers will be used to identify markers associated with the resistant phenotype. The SNP markers (about 1000) will be developed within the next year as part of a NRI grant recently awarded to a scientist at the Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research Unit. Markers will be genotyped from a total of 960 individual western corn rootworms from replicated lines selected for Bt-corn resistance and their associated unselected control lines.
DNA has been extracted from about 100 individual western corn rootworms from each of three laboratory lines selected for resistance to transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) corn in Columbia, Missouri, as well as from their unselected control lines. In addition, these samples have been genotyped at microsatellite marker loci so that the effective population size of each colony can be determined. Because of their complicated history, custom simulation software is being written for each colony to determine the amount of genetic divergence expected between the resistant and control lines in the absence of selection and based on the effective population size. The next step will be to genotype the samples at hundreds of single nucleotide polymorphism markers currently under development. This type of genetic marker (single nucleotide polymorphisms) can demonstrate the relative position of genes. Markers that exceed the expected level of divergence (based on the simulations) in all three selected lines are potentially located so physically near a resistance gene on a chromosome that they are inherited together, or "linked." Thus, such markers will be considered candidate markers linked to resistance genes that have responded to selection. It is easier to detect linked markers in an individual than to detect the resistance gene itself, at least until the resistance gene is identified in the future. Progress was monitored through frequent email correspondence, telephone calls initiated by both parties, conference calls, and discussions at jointly attended technical meetings and conferences.