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First report of field resistance by the stem borer, Busseola fusca (Fuller) to Bt-transgenic maize

, : First report of field resistance by the stem borer, Busseola fusca (Fuller) to Bt-transgenic maize. South African Journal of Plant and Soil 24(3): 147-151

Reports of severe damage caused by the African stem borer, Busseola fusca (Fuller) to Mon810-transgenic maize (Bt) prompted a study in which the survival of progenies of diapause larvae collected from both a Bt and non-Bt planting were compared when feeding on various Bt and non-Bt hybrids. Field and greenhouse grown plants were artificially infested with neonate larvae. Larval mass was recorded at two-day intervals for three weeks. Data were subjected to simple regression analyses followed by pair wise comparison of the slopes. The two borer populations showed similar larval mass gains on non-Bt hybrids but differed in the response to Bthybrids. Appreciable numbers of larvae from the non-Bt derived population survived only to the eighth day. In contrast, substantial numbers of larvae of the Bt-derived population survived over the entire trial period. The mean larval mass of the Bt-derived population at the conclusion of the experiment was less on Bt-hybrids than on their susceptible counterparts. This indicates that the Bt-derived population has attained a level of resistance where some larvae are able to survive in the presence of the Bt-toxin but not without some detrimental effect on larval growth rate. Since producers are inclined to provide refugia under rain fed conditions in the immediate vicinity of irrigated plantings rather than as part of irrigated fields, the known preference of moths for high humidity could have contributed to increased selection pressure towards the development of resistance to the Bt-toxin.


DOI: 10.1080/02571862.2007.10634798

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