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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research

2012 Annual Report

4. Accomplishments
1. Western corn rootworm genomics. Western corn rootworm is often called the “billion dollar insect” because of reduced corn yields and the associated costs for control. An international effort is underway to sequence the Western corn rootworm genome in order to understand control difficulties experienced by U.S. corn producers. A team of scientists led by ARS researchers in Ames, Iowa, estimated the size at 2.58 billion base pair and sequenced representative regions of this insect’s genome. Results indicate that genes coding for proteins occupy only about 9 percent of the genome, whereas other regions are composed of so-called non-coding DNA (repeated and mobile DNA sequences). Mobile DNA sequences were shown to be responsible for the large genome size. These data are useful to government, university and industry stakeholders that are developing methods to control this important insect pest, especially those related to genetically engineered corn.

Review Publications
Coates, B.S., Hellmich II, R.L., Grant, D.M., Abel, C.A. 2012. Mobilizing the genome of Lepidoptera through novel sequence gains and end creation by non-autonomous Lep1 Helitrons. DNA Research. 19(1):11-21.

Jiang, X., Zhai, H., Wang, L., Luo, L., Sappington, T.W., Zhang, L. 2012. Cloning of the heat shock protein 90 and 70 genes from the beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua, and expression characteristics in relation to thermal stress and development. Cell Stress and Chaperones. 17(1):67-80.

Choi, S., Kim, K., Lee, H., Adamczyk Jr., J.J., Greenberg, S.M., Westbrook, J.K., Sappington, T.W. 2011. Temporal changes in genetic variation of boll weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) populations, and implications for population assignment in eradication zones. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 104(4):816-825.

Hellmich II, R.L., Hellmich, K.A. 2012. Use and impact of Bt maize. Nature Education. 3(5):4.

Kang, J., Onstad, D.W., Hellmich II, R.L., Moser, S.E., Hutchison, W.D., Prasifka, J.R. 2012. Modeling the impact of cross-pollination and low toxin expression in corn kernels on adaptation of European corn borer (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) to transgenic insecticidal corn. Environmental Entomology. 41(1):200-211.

Huesing, J., Romeis, J., Ellstrand, N., Raybould, A., Hellmich II, R.L., Wolt, J., Ehlers, J., Dabire, C., Fatokun, C., Hokanson, K., Ishiyaku, M.F., Margam, V., Matole, M., Mignouna, J., Nangayo, F., Ouedraogo, J., Pasquet, R., Pittendrigh, B., Schaal, B., Stein, J., Tamo, M., Murdock, L. 2012. Regulatory considerations surrounding the deployment of Bt-expressing cowpea in Africa: Report of the deliberations of an expert panel. GM Crops. 2(3):211-224.

Meissle, M., Hellmich II, R.L., Romeis, J. 2011. Impact of Cry3Bb1-expressing Bt maize on adults of the western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Pest Management Science. 67(7):807-814.

Agunbiade, T.A., Coates, B.S., Kim, K., Forgacs, D., Margam, V.M., Ba, M.N., Binso-Dabire, C.L., Baoua, I., Ishiyaku, M.F., Manuele, T., Pittendrigh, B.R. 2012. The spatial genetic differentiation of the legume pod borer, Maruca vitrata F. (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) populations in West Africa. Bulletin of Entomological Research. 102(5):589-599.

Siegfried, B.D., Hellmich II, R.L. 2012. Understanding successful resistance management: The European corn borer and Bt corn in the United States. GM Crops. 3(3):184-193.

Last Modified: 05/24/2017
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