Analysis of the Dynamics of Adaptation to Transgenic Corn and Crop Rotation by Western Corn Rootworm (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) Using a Daily Time-Step Model

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Western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, has overcome crop rotation in several areas of the north central United States. The effectiveness of crop rotation for management of corn rootworm has begun to fail in many areas of the midwestern United States, thus new management strategies need to be developed to control rotation-resistant populations. Transgenic corn, Zea mays L., effective against western corn rootworm, may be the most effective new technology for control of this pest in areas with or without populations adapted to crop rotation. We expanded a simulation model of the population dynamics and genetics of the western corn rootworm for a landscape of corn; soybean, Glycine max (L.); and other crops to study the simultaneous development of resistance to both crop rotation and transgenic corn. Results indicate that planting transgenic corn to first-year cornfields is a robust strategy to prevent resistance to both crop rotation and transgenic corn in areas where rotation-resistant populations are currently a problem or may be a problem in the future. In these areas, planting transgenic corn only in continuous cornfields is not an effective strategy to prevent resistance to either trait. In areas without rotation-resistant populations, gene expression of the allele for resistance to transgenic corn, R, is the most important factor affecting the evolution of resistance. If R is recessive, resistance can be delayed longer than 15 yr. If R is dominant, resistance may be difficult to prevent. In a sensitivity analysis, results indicate that density dependence, rotational level in the landscape, and initial allele frequency are the three most important factors affecting the results.

Keywords: Diabrotica virgifera virgifera; crop rotation; insect resistance management; simulation model; transgenic corn

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2005

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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