Location: Corn Insects and Crop Genetics ResearchTitle: Bacillus thuringiensis toxin resistance mechanisms among Lepidoptera: progress on genomic approaches to uncover causal mutations in the European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis
Submitted to: Current Opinion in Insect Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/20/2016
Publication Date: 4/25/2016
Citation: Coates, B.S. 2016. Bacillus thuringiensis toxin resistance mechanisms among Lepidoptera: progress on genomic approaches to uncover causal mutations in the European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis. Current Opinion in Insect Science. 15:70-77. doi: 10.1016/j.cois.2016.04.003.
Interpretive Summary: Genomics research has made great strides in the deciphering of genetic mechanism(s) involved the evolution to insecticides, including the protein toxins that are expressed by transgenic crop plants. Current scientific understanding of known mutations were used to define commonality among several independently-discovered genetic mechanisms, and outline the potential shared pathways by which resistance has developed. Furthermore, European corn borer genomic-level research conducted at USDA was highlighted research, and the unique insight that the ability to analyze the changes in a large number of genes and genome regions was described. These results were used to synthesize novel insights into the role of gene regulation in the evolution of insecticide resistance. These results will be useful to government, university and private-sector scientists interested in the evolution of resistance among insect populations and concerned about preserving the effectiveness of transgenic crops.
Technical Abstract: Transgenic plants that expressed Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) crystalline (Cry) protein toxins can suffer feeding damage from a small number of lepidopteran insect species under field conditions, which has heightened concerns about the durability of pest control tactics. Genomics research has provided major insights into the mutations that alter Bt binding receptor structure and function within the midgut of Lepidoptera which directly impacts the efficacy of Bt toxins, and potentially leads to the evolution of resistance in the field.