Effects of Bt Cotton and Cry1Ac Toxin on Survival and Development of Pink Bollworm (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae)

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We evaluated the effects of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin Cry1Ac on survival and development of a susceptible strain and laboratory-selected resistant strains of pink bollworm, Pectinophora gossypiella (Saunders). For susceptible and resistant strains tested on artificial diet, increases in Cry1Ac concentration reduced developmental rate and pupal weight. In greenhouse tests, survival of resistant larvae on transgenic cotton that produces Cry1Ac (Bt cotton) was 46% relative to their survival on non-Bt cotton. In contrast, Bt cotton killed all susceptible larvae tested. F1 hybrid progeny of resistant and susceptible adults did not survive on Bt cotton, which indicates recessive inheritance of resistance. Compared with resistant or susceptible larvae reared on non-Bt cotton, resistant larvae reared on Bt cotton had lower survival and slower development, and achieved lower pupal weight and fecundity. Recessive resistance to Bt cotton is consistent with one of the basic assumptions of the refuge strategy for delaying resistance to Bt cotton. Whereas slower development of resistant insects on Bt cotton could increase the probability of mating between resistant adults and accelerate resistance, negative effects of Bt cotton on the survival and development of resistant larvae could delay evolution of resistance.

Keywords: B. thuringiensis cotton; Bacillus thuringiensis; Cry1Ac; Pectinophora gossypiella; resistance

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/0022-0493-94.5.1237

Publication date: October 1, 2001

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