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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DISCOVERY AND DEVELOPMENT OF NATURAL PRODUCT-BASED WEED MANAGEMENT METHODS Title: Comparing conventional and biotechnology-based pest management

Author
item Duke, Stephen

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: March 9, 2011
Publication Date: April 29, 2011
Citation: Duke, S.O. 2011. Comparing conventional and biotechnology-based pest management. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 59:5793-5798.

Interpretive Summary: Pest management has changed dramatically during the past 15 years by the introduction of transgenes into crops for the purpose of pest management. Transgenes for herbicide resistance or for production of one or more Bt toxins are the predominant pest management traits currently available. These two traits have been rapidly adopted where they are available because of their superior efficacy and simplification of pest management for the farmer. Furthermore, they have substantially reduced the use of environmentally and toxicologically suspect pesticides as well as reducing the carbon foot print of pest management due to reduced tillage and fewer trips across the field to spray pesticides. The most successful of these products have been glyphosate-resistant crops, covering approximately 85% of the land occupied by transgenic crops. Continual use of these crops has resulted in evolution of highly problematic glyphosate-resistant weeds. This situation has resulted in some farmers using weed management methods similar to those used with conventional crops. Evolution of resistance has not been a significant problem with Bt crops, perhaps because of a mandated resistance management strategy. Transgenic crops with multiple genes for resistance to different herbicides and resistance to additional insects will be available in the next few years. These products will offer opportunities for the kind of pest management diversity that is more sustainable than that provided by the first generation of transgenic crops.

Technical Abstract: Pest management has changed dramatically during the past 15 years by the introduction of transgenes into crops for the purpose of pest management. Transgenes for herbicide resistance or for production of one or more Bt toxins are the predominant pest management traits currently available. These two traits have been rapidly adopted where they are available because of their superior efficacy and simplification of pest management for the farmer. Furthermore, they have substantially reduced the use of environmentally and toxicologically suspect pesticides as well as reducing the carbon foot print of pest management due to reduced tillage and fewer trips across the field to spray pesticides. The most successful of these products have been glyphosate-resistant crops, covering approximately 85% of the land occupied by transgenic crops. Continual use of these crops has resulted in evolution of highly problematic glyphosate-resistant weeds. This situation has resulted in some farmers using weed management methods similar to those used with conventional crops. Evolution of resistance has not been a significant problem with Bt crops, perhaps because of a mandated resistance management strategy. Transgenic crops with multiple genes for resistance to different herbicides and resistance to additional insects will be available in the next few years. These products will offer opportunities for the kind of pest management diversity that is more sustainable than that provided by the first generation of transgenic crops.

Last Modified: 11/23/2014