Entomology, Department of


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Published in Bulletin of Entomological Research (2008) No. 98, pp. 621–629. Copyright 2008 Cambridge University Press. Used by permission.


A major assumption of the high-dose/refuge strategy proposed for insect resistance management strategies for transgenic crop plants that express toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis is that resistance traits that evolve in pest species will be recessive. The inheritance of Cry1F resistance and larval survival on commercially available Cry1F corn hybrids were determined in a laboratory-selected strain of European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Hu¨ bner), displaying more than 3000-fold resistance to Cry1F. Concentration-response bioassays of reciprocal parental crosses indicated that the resistance is autosomal and recessive. Bioassays of the backcross of the F1 generation with the selected strain were consistent with the hypothesis that a single locus, or a set of tightly linked loci, is responsible for the resistance. Greenhouse experiments with Cry1F-expressing corn hybrids indicated that some resistant larvae survived the high dose of toxin delivered by Cry1F-expressing plants although F1 progeny of susceptible by resistant crosses had fitness close to zero. These results provide the first direct evidence that the high dose/refuge strategy currently in place to manage resistance in Cry1F-expressing corn is appropriate.

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