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Susceptibility of Different Instars of European Corn Borer (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) to Diet Containing Bacillus thuringiensis

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The relative susceptibility of different instars of the European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner), to a commercial formulation of Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner subsp. kurstaki, Dipel ES, was determined using diet incorporation. European corn borers exposed to Dipel during the 1st instar were much more susceptible than were older larvae. No significant differences in susceptibility were found among 3rd, 4th, and 5th instars at doses of 0.03–0.81 ml of Dipel per kilogram of diet. At high concentrations (2.43 ml/km of diet), 5th instars had significantly lower mortality than did 3rd or 4th instars. The LC50 and LC90 of the 5th instars were 98.1- and >168.2-fold higher, respectively, than those of 1st instars. These findings should be accounted for during the development of a resistance management strategy for the use of B. thuringiensis toxin as a microbial insecticide and possibly, for Bt-expressing transgenic corn. Differential susceptibility of different instars of European corn borer to B. thuringiensis suggests that the “ultra high-dose” or “high-dose” resistance management strategy should be defined in terms of the largest and the least susceptible stage, because larvae may have opportunities to grow and develop on non-Bt-corn or alternate hosts before they attack the Bt-corn plants.

Keywords: Bacillus thuringiensis; European corn borer; susceptibility

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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