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Field Evaluation of Soybean Engineered with a Synthetic cry1Ac Transgene for Resistance to Corn Earworm, Soybean Looper, Velvetbean Caterpillar (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), and Lesser Cornstalk Borer (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae)

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A transgenic line of the soybean ‘Jack’, Glycine max (L.) Merrill, expressing a synthetic cry1Ac gene from Bacillus thuringiensis variety kurstaki (Jack-Bt), was evaluated for resistance to four lepidopteran pests in the field. Jack-Bt and genotypes serving as susceptible and resistant controls were planted in field cages and artificially infested with larvae of corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie), and velvetbean caterpillar, Anticarsia gemmatalis (Hübner), in 1996, 1997, and 1998, and also with soybean looper, Pseudoplusia includens (Walker), in 1996. Susceptible controls included Jack (1996–1998), ‘Cobb’ (1996), and Jack-HPH (1996). GatIR 81–296 was used as the resistant control in all 3 yr. Compared with untransformed Jack, Jack-Bt showed three to five times less defoliation from corn earworm and eight to nine times less damage from velvetbean caterpillar. Defoliation of GatIR 81–296 was intermediate between that of Jack and Jack-Bt for corn earworm, and similar to that of Jack for velveltbean caterpillar. Jack-Bt exhibited significant, but lower resistance to soybean looper. Jack-Bt also showed four times greater resistance than Jack to natural infestations of lesser cornstalk borer, Elasmopalpus lignosellus (Zeller), in conventional field plots at two locations in 1998. Data from these experiments suggest that expression of this cry1Ac construct in soybean should provide adequate levels of resistance to several lepidopteran pests under field conditions.

Keywords: Bacillus thuringiensis; Lepidoptera; Noctuidae; Pyralidae; resistance management; soybean

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/0022-0493-93.3.613

Publication date: June 1, 2000

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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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