Date of this Version
Southwestern Entomologist 35(3): 409-415 (Sept. 2010)
The fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith), is one of the most important insect pests on the American continent. Its control has relied primarily on multiple applications of insecticides that can amount to 1,000 g of active ingredient per hectare on some of approximately 30 crops the insect damages. The use of genetically engineered crops that express Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Berliner toxins, Bt-corn, Zea mays L.; and Bt-cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L.; are other ways to control this insect. However, fall armyworm is one of the Lepidoptera species least susceptible to Bt proteins, and a case of high tolerance to Bt-corn has already being reported. We found the susceptibility to Cry1 Ac and Cry1 Fa proteins of Bt in 133 isofamilies from five regions of three countries was similar to the susceptibility of two Bt-susceptible laboratory colonies to these proteins. Four isofamilies from Puerto Rico were very tolerant to Cry1 Fa and not so tolerant to Cry1Ac. Two of the four isofamilies were backcrossed with a Bt-susceptible laboratory colony and their progeny was as susceptible to both Bt proteins as was the Bt-susceptible colony, indicating that resistance to Bt is a recessive trait.