Limited Survival of a Cry2Ab-Resistant Strain of Helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) on Bollgard II

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Bollgard II cotton (which expresses two Bt insecticidal genes cry1Ac/cry2Ab) and conventional cotton, grown in the laboratory or field and sampled at different stages, was exposed to Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) larvae of three genotypes: homozygous for resistance to Cry2Ab; homozygous for susceptibility to Cry2Ab, and heterozygous for resistance. Survival of all genotypes was limited on Bollgard II but increased as plants aged. This was particularly the case for homozygous resistant individuals, with 8.5% of this genotype surviving to pupation on mature cotton. The increasing survival is assumed to be caused by the decline in the titer of Cry1Ac toxin after flowering in Bollgard II because Cry2Ab homozygous resistant larvae can tolerate high levels of Cry2Ab toxin. Larvae heterozygous for resistance performed no better on Bollgard II than homozygous susceptible larvae. Survivors on Bollgard II grew more slowly and produced smaller pupae that yielded adults with reduced longevity and fecundity. When reared on conventional cotton, all genotypes generally performed equally, indicating an absence of fitness costs associated with Cry2Ab resistance under the conditions examined.

Keywords: Bacillus thuringiensis; Bollgard II; Bt resistance; Cry2Ab; Helicoverpa armigera

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2009

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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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