Submitted to: Entomological Society of America Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/12/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The western corn rootworm is a major insect pest in continuous corn production, but no viable alternatives to insecticides are available for its control. Seed companies have announced commercialization goals for transgenic seed with resistance to corn rootworm larval feeding as early as 2001, yet little is known about certain aspects of corn rootworm biology that may be required as part of the registration process by the Environmental Protection Agency. An assay was developed to examine larval corn rootworm movement and colonization of host plants. The technique utilizes a shoe-box sized plastic tub filled with soil as a conveniently sized experimental arena. The distribution of larvae and the damage they cause to plants were determined over varying time periods, and in relation to selected plant growth stages. This process is promising for rapidly assessing rootworm response to the roots of whole plants of different resistance status. These results may impact determinations of the most appropriate type of 'refuge' for transgenic crops with resistance to corn rootworms.