Evaluation of Potato Tuber Moth (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) Resistance in Tubers of Bt-cry5 Transgenic Potato Lines

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The potato tuber moth, Phthorimaea operculella (Zeller), in tropical and subtropical countries, is the most destructive pest of potato, Solanum tuberosum L. The larvae attack foliage and tubers in the field and in storage. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a Bt-cry5 transgene to control the potato tuber moth in tuber tissues. Tuber bioassays using stored (11-12 mo old) and newly harvested tubers of Bt-cry5-Lemhi Russet and Bt-cry5-Atlantic potato lines showed up to 100% mortality of 1st instars. Mortality was lowest in the newly harvested tubers of Bt-cry5-Atlantic lines (47.1–67.6%). Potato tuber moth mortality was 100% in the Bt-cry5-Spunta lines that were transformed with Bt-cry5 gene controlled by the CaMV 35S promoter (pBIML5 vector) and in 2 of 3 lines transformed with Bt-cry5 gene controlled by the Gelvin super promoter (pBIML1vector). The transgenic Spunta lines expressing Bt-cry5 controlled by the patatin promoter (pBMIL2 vector) showed the lowest tuber moth mortality (25.6 and 31.1%). The Bt-cry5 transgenic lines with high tuber expression of B. thuringiensis have value in an integrated pest management system to control potato tuber moth.

Keywords: Bacillus thuringiensis; Phthorimaea operculella; Solanum tuberosum; genetic engineering; transgenic potato

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2000

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