Evaluation of Transgenic Bt Corn for Resistance to the Asian Corn Borer (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae)

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The Asian corn borer, Ostrinia furnacalis (GuenĂ©e), is the most important insect pest on corn in China. Bt transgenic corn provides a new tool for Asian corn borer control. Monsanto’s YieldGard Bt transgenic corn expressing Cry1Ab protein, and a non-Bt control, were evaluated in Beijing. Laboratory bioassays were carried out by exposing neonates to an agar-free diet containing Bt corn whorl leaves, tassels, and anthers, or by exposing neonates directly to fresh silk and pollen. These are the tissues initially attacked by neonates in the field. All of these tissues, with the exception of pollen, contained sufficient insecticidal protein to kill ≥95% of larvae within 7 d. Surviving larvae had also not grown beyond first instar and weighed ≤0.1 mg. Although larvae feeding on Bt corn pollen were significantly smaller than those on non-Bt corn pollen, there was no significant difference in mortality. Field trials were also conducted with artificial infestations of Asian corn borer at mid whorl, late whorl, and silking stages. Damage ratings and number of larvae surviving per plant indicated that Bt corn was highly resistant to Asian corn borer. Therefore, YieldGard offers the potential for season-long protection against first- and second-generation Asian corn borer.

Keywords: Bt corn; Ostrinia furnacalis; host plant resistance; transgenic plants

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/0022-0493-96.3.935

Publication date: June 1, 2003

More about this publication?
  • 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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