Resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis in Gypsy Moth (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae): Genetic and Environmental Causes

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Second-instar gypsy moths (Lymantrla dispar L.) from three wild populations and one laboratory population were challenged with Bacillus thurlngiensts subspecies kurstaki (HD-l strain), which was incorporated into synthetic diet at concentrations ranging from 10 to 295 international units (IU) per ml. Susceptibility among the 16-19 families within each of the four populations varied significantly. Families within a population had variable regression coefficients. Significant variation in LC50's suggested the potential for resistance development through natural selection. Significant variation among populations was observed; the average LC50's for three wild populations and the laboratory strain were 76, 106, 121, and 180 IU/ml diet, respectively. Variation in B. thuringiensts susceptibility within families was measured by comparing LC50's of siblings from eggs of an egg mass laid first versus laid last (egg mass position is correlated with timing of maternal provisioning). We found that differential egg provisioning among eggs of a single mother yielded offspring with differential sensitivities to B. thuringiensts; the LC50 of larvae from eggs laid first versus those laid last averaged 401 IU/ml diet and 211 IU/ml diet, respectively. Based on oviposition sequence, qualitative differences among siblings accounted for 42% of the total variation in B. thurlngiensts susceptibility, whereas familial differences (due to genetic and mean maternal effect differences among families) accounted for 16% of the total variation. We hypothesize that variation in susceptibility to B. thuringiensts in the gypsy moth is based on vigor differences in growth and developmental capability, attributes that are the product of both genotype and the maternally determined nutritional status of the egg.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 1990

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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