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Susceptibility of Helicoverpa armigera from different host plants in northern China to Bacillus thuringiensis toxin Cry1Ac

Gao, Yulin, An, Jingjie, Gould, Fred, Blanco, Carlos A., Wu, Kongming
Crop protection 2011 v.30 no.11 pp. 1421-1424
Bacillus thuringiensis, Helicoverpa armigera, alternative crops, alternative hosts, at-risk population, bacterial toxins, biological resistance, corn, cotton, crossing, crystal proteins, diet, evolution, host plants, larvae, moths, pests, progeny, pupae, transgenic plants, wheat, China
Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a serious pest of cotton and many other crops in northern China. To evaluate the contribution of alternative hosts as an effective refuge for transgenic cotton expressing the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cry1Ac toxin, the susceptibility to this toxin was measured in progeny derived from field-collected H. armigera larvae and pupae from different hosts in the Xiajin’s region of the Shandong Province in northern China. During 2008–2010, progeny from a total of 258,56,184 and 160 single-pair crosses derived from wheat (first-generation), Bt cotton (second-generation), Bt cotton (third-generation), and corn (third-generation) were screened on Cry1Ac diets, respectively. Based on relative average development rates (RADR) of H. armigera larvae in these F₁ tests, the second and third-generation moths emerging from Bt cotton fields were more tolerant to the Bt toxin than the first and third-generation moths emerging from wheat and corn each year. These results suggest that there is significant variation in susceptibility to Bt toxins among H. armigera populations derived from different host crops. Alternate crops, such as corn, that maintain Bt susceptible populations of H. armigera could be used as refugia to minimize the evolution of resistance to Bt cotton.