Baseline Susceptibility of European Corn Borer (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) to Bacillus thuringiensis Toxins

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Susceptibility to Cry1Ab and Cry1Ac toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis was determined for 11 populations of neonate European corn borer,Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner), from the United States and 1 from northern Italy. Corn borer larvae were exposed to artificial diet treated with increasing B. thuringiensis concentrations, and mortality and growth inhibition were evaluated after 7 d. The range of variation in B. thuringiensis susceptibility indicated by growth inhibition was very similar to that indicated by mortality. Although interpopulation variation in susceptibility to both proteins was observed, the magnitude of the differences was small (≤4-fold) and comparable to the variability observed among generations within a particular population (≤3-fold). Additionally, there was no indication that B. thuringiensis susceptibility was influenced by pheromone race, voltine ecotype, or geographic location. These results suggest that the observed susceptibility differences reflect natural variation in B. thuringiensis susceptibility among corn borer populations rather than variation caused by prior exposure to selection pressures. Therefore, European corn borers apparently are susceptible to B. thuringiensis toxins among populations across most of their geographic range.

Keywords: Bacillus thuringiensis; Ostrinia nubilalis; bioassay; geographic variability

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 1999

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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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