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Decreased Whorl and Ear Damage in Nine Mon810 Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)-Transgenic Corn Hybrids Compared with Their Non-Bt Counterparts

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We examined nine pairs of near-isogenic hybrids of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) and non-Bt corn, Zea mays L., at two locations in 1999 and three locations in 2000 to compare the effects of Bt toxins on damage caused by Helicoverpa zea (Boddie) to whorl stage field corn, and ear damage at harvest, as well as yield. We found that whorl damage was less in all Bt hybrids compared with their non-Bt counterparts each year and at each location. Differences in ear damage between Bt and non-Bt hybrids, however, differed in 1999 and 2000. In 1999, only one Bt hybrid, NC+5788Bt, had less ear damage than its non-Bt counterpart at the dryland site, whereas four Bt hybrids, C8120Bt, P31B13Bt, P33V08Bt, and NC+5788Bt, had less damage at the irrigated site. In 2000, most Bt hybrids had less ear damage than their non-Bt counterparts at each location. Differences in whorl damage did not translate into yield differences. However, variations in ear damage were partially reflected in yield differences. In 1999, P31B13Bt and P33V08Bt had higher yields than their non-Bt counterparts at both sites, whereas in 2000 all Bt hybrids had higher yields. Also, although whorl damage was not correlated with yield, ear damage was negatively correlated with yield; increasing ear damage by H. zea decreased yield for Bt and non-Bt hybrids alike. Overall, depending on location and year, each centimeter of H. zea ear damage reduced yield by between 2 and 13%.

Keywords: Helicoverpa zea; Zea mays; corn earworm; genetically modified; plant resistance

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/0022-0493-99.6.2164

Publication date: December 1, 2006

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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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