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Performance of Transgenic Corn Hybrids in Missouri for Insect Control and Yield

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The efficacy of Bacillus thuringiensis-transformed corn (Zea mays L.) hybrids compared with comparable nontransformed corn hybrids for controlling first- and second-generation European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner), and second-generation southwestern corn borer, Diatraea grandiosella Dyar, was determined. Yield comparisons were obtained from the same plots of corn hybrids. Both generations of European and the second-generation of southwestern corn borer were effectively controlled, but the Bt hybrids varied in degree of control. Hybrids from Ciba Seeds, DEKALB, and Mycogen had more European corn borer tunneling than those from Novartis or Cargill, and this was generally ascribed to different transgenic events. The Bt-transformed hybrids had virtually no leaf-feeding damage and less tunneling than the non-Bt corn hybrids. Some Bt corn hybrids had no tunneling, whereas other Bt hybrids had a small amount of tunneling. All of the non-Bt hybrids had significant leaf-feeding damage and stalk tunneling from both insects. Only three live European corn borer larvae (stunted) were found in the Bt corn hybrids while splitting stalks to assess tunnel length. When insect damage was significant, and in some evaluations where damage was not significant, differences in yields among hybrids were observed. No significant insect population differences were observed for five genera of beneficial insects for Bt versus non-Bt corn hybrids. Corn hybrids that have been transformed with the Bt gene provide an effective means of control for corn borers and efforts to reduce the likelihood of development of borer resistance are warranted.

Keywords: Diatraea grandiosella; Ostrinia nubilalis; host-plant resistance; maize

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/0022-0493-93.3.993

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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