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Title: Extraordinary adaptive plasticity of Colorado potato beetle: “Ten-striped spearman” in the era of biotechnological warfare

item CINGEL, ALEKSANDAR - University Of Belgrade
item SAVIC, JELENA - University Of Belgrade
item LAZAREVIC, JELICA - University Of Belgrade
item COSIC, TATJANA - University Of Belgrade
item RASPOR, MARTIN - University Of Belgrade
item Smigocki, Anna
item NINKOVIC, SLAVICA - University Of Belgrade

Submitted to: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/13/2016
Publication Date: 9/13/2016
Citation: Cingel, A., Savic, J., Lazarevic, J., Cosic, T., Raspor, M., Smigocki, A.C., Ninkovic, S. 2016. Extraordinary adaptive plasticity of Colorado potato beetle: “Ten-striped spearman” in the era of biotechnological warfare. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 17:1538-1554.

Interpretive Summary: Colorado potato beetle (CPB) has risen from being a harmless beetle to becoming a leading global pest of many crops. CPB is found throughout the Northern hemisphere and has adapted to feeding on about 20 plants but favoring potato. Defoliation of potato can cause 40%–80% yield loss. The main CPB control strategy continues to rely on chemical pesticides; therefore, new control approaches such as biorational insecticides and antifeedants, natural enemies, trap cropping and genetic modification are needed. Genetically modified potato has been recognized as a promising approach for CPB control. Two beneficial insect resistance traits from rice were introduced into several potato varieties. Early stage larvae that fed on the genetically modified potato leaves exhibited altered growth and development. A more than 50-60% decrease in digestive activity was observed in their guts. When later stage larvae were fed similar plant materials, their maximum weight gain and leaf consumption were reduced. Continued feeding, however, restored the digestive activity back to levels that were observed in the control larvae, thus the larvae adapted their digestive system to compensate for the newly introduced inhibitory products in their diet. Scientists will use this information to develop safer approaches of insect control via inhibition of digestive enzymes that will lead to increased yields, reduced usage of chemical pesticides and safer consumable foods.

Technical Abstract: Expanding from remote areas of Mexico to a worldwide scale, the ten-striped insect, the Colorado potato beetle (CPB, Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say), has risen from being an innocuous beetle to a prominent global pest. A diverse life cycle, phenotypic plasticity, adaptation to adverse conditions, and capability to detoxify or tolerate toxins make this insect appear to be virtually “indestructible”. With increasing advances in molecular biology, tools of biotechnological warfare were deployed to combat CPB. In the last three decades, genetically modified potato has created a new challenge for the beetle. After reviewing hundreds of scientific papers dealing with CPB control, it became clear that even biotechnological means of control, if used alone, would not defeat the Colorado potato beetle. This control measure once again appears to be provoking the potato beetle to exhibit its remarkable adaptability. Nonetheless, the potential for adaptation to these techniques has increased our knowledge of this pest and thus opened possibilities for devising more sustainable CPB management programs.