Genetic Variation for Resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis Toxins in Helicoverpa zea (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Eastern North Carolina

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To evaluate resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner (Bt) toxins, adult female bollworms, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), were collected from four light trap locations in two eastern North Carolina counties from August to October during 2001 and 2002. Females were allowed to oviposit, and upon hatching, 24 neonates from each female (F1 lines) were screened for survival and growth rate on each of three diets: non-Bt diet, diet containing 5.0 μg/ml Cry1Ac toxin, or diet containing 5.0 μg/ml Cry2Ab toxin. These screens were designed to identify nonrecessive Bt resistance alleles present in field populations of bollworm. Of 561 and 691 families screened with both Cry1Ac- and Cry2Ab-containing diets in 2001 and 2002, respectively, no F1 lines were identified that seemed to carry a gene conferring substantial resistance to either Cry1Ac or Cry2Ab. Adults from F1 lines with growth scores in the highest (R) and lowest (S) quartiles were mated in four combinations, RxR, SxR, RxS, and SxS. Differences in growth rates of larvae from these crosses demonstrated that there is substantial quantitative genetic variation in eastern North Carolina populations for resistance to both Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab toxins. These findings, in addition to results suggesting partially dominant inheritance of resistance to Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab, are critically important for determining appropriate resistance management strategies that impact the sustainability of transgenic cotton, Gossypium hirsutum (L.).

Keywords: Bacillus thuringiensis; bollworm; resistance management; resistance monitoring

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2006

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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