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Relative Fitness of Colorado Potato Beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) Resistant and Susceptible to the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry3A Toxin

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Laboratory experiments were conducted to compare relative fitness of strains of Colorado potato beetle resistant and susceptible to Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. tenebrionis Cry3A toxin. Net replacement rates and intrinsic rates of population increase were calculated for resistant and susceptible populations. During the experiment, susceptible males on average copulated 13.3 ± 1.5 times, whereas resistant males copulated only 8.0 ± 1.0 times. Susceptible females produced an average of 824.2 ± 68.1 eggs and 590.9 ± 58.5 larvae, which was significantly >484.6 ± 48.0 eggs and 334.9 ± 39.7 larvae produced by an average resistant female. As a result, both net replacement rate and intrinsic rate of increase were reduced for the resistant population. Furthermore, twice as many susceptible beetles as resistant beetles survived overwintering diapause. Our results clearly indicate that relative fitness of resistant individuals is reduced in the absence of B. thuringiensis in the environment. Therefore, relaxation of selection pressure through refugia and insecticide rotation will favor decrease in the frequency of resistant alleles in beetle populations.

Keywords: Bacillus thuringiensis; Leptinotarsa decemlineata; insecticide resistance

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 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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