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Mating Compatibility Among Helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) Occurring on Selected Host Plants and Bt Cotton Survivors

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Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a well-known polyphagous insect pest. Mating compatibility among the insects occurring on different host plants is essential for free gene flow among populations. We tested the extent of crossability and fecundity of the insects that survived on Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton with those occurring on pigeon pea, Cajanus cajun (L.) Millsp., non-Bt cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L.; sunflower, Helianthus annuus; sorghum, Sorghum bicolor L. Moench.; okra, Abelmoschus moschatus Medikus; chickpea, Cicer arietinum L.; marigold, Tagetes spp.; and tomato, Lycopersicum esculentum L., crops. The insects from different crops were freely crossable with those collected from Bt cotton and among themselves. The average fecundity across different crosses ranged from 314.1 to 426.3 in direct and from 305.8 to 421.7 eggs per female in reciprocal crosses. In any given cross, a minimum of 85.89% egg hatch was recorded. Furthermore, the F1 individuals of different cross combinations were found to cross freely with their parents (BC1) and among themselves with similar fecundity and egg hatch. High crossability among H. armigera occurring on different host plants suggests that crop mosaics that may exist in countries such as India could play an important role as natural, nonstructured refugia and prolong the durability of the genes deployed for controlling this insect.

Keywords: Bt cotton; Helicoverpa armigera; crop strains; crossability; fecundity

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/0022-0493(2007)100[903:MCAHAL]2.0.CO;2

Publication date: June 1, 2007

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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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