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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Monitoring for Bt Resistance

Authors
item Hardee, Dicky
item Adams, Larry

Submitted to: Cotton Incorporated Crop Management Seminar Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: October 30, 1996
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Monitoring for resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) products in cotton bollworm (CBW) and tobacco budworm (TBW) in 1996 showed no shifts in baseline susceptibility levels of Bt biological insecticides, and thus, Bt transgenic cotton. Spray chamber bioassays of 23 colonies of CBW and TBW from Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas indicated equal susceptibility to Bt, but colonies of TBW from Mississippi and Texas were highly tolerant of all classes of non-Bt insecticides, indicating the strong need for retention of effectiveness of transgenic cotton to thee pests.

Technical Abstract: Resistance in insects to Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t.) delta endotoxin proteins has recently received considerable interest both nationally and internationally for three primary reasons: (1) unprecedented interest on the part of the environmental community and organic producers; (2) the recent registration and deployment of transgenic plants in many countries; and (3) laboratory and field resistance to B.t. in 10-12 insect species. Preliminary B.t. resistance monitoring in cotton in populations of cotton bollworm (CBW), Helicoverpa zea (Boddie), and tobacco budworm (TBW), Heliothis virescens (Fabricius) was initiated in 1996 by subjecting 23 different populations of these insects collected in Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas to field doses of MVP II biological insecticide in spray chamber bioassays (the toxic protein in MVP II is the closest in toxicological properties of all B.t. insecticides to the Cry I A(c) protein nexpressed in transgenic cotton). Monitoring results showed no shifts in baseline susceptibility levels of biological insecticides (and thus, B.t. cotton), but data are very preliminary, especially in TBW because of low numbers in the 1996 season. Resistance monitoring will expand and continue in 1997.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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