Date of this Version
Susceptibility to Cry3Bb1 toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) was determined for western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, neonates from both laboratory and field populations collected from across the Corn Belt. Rootworm larvae were exposed to artificial diet treated with increasing Cry3Bb1 concentrations, and mortality and growth inhibition were evaluated after 4Ð7 d. The range of variation in Bt susceptibility indicated by growth inhibition was similar to that indicated by mortality. Although interpopulation variation in susceptibility was observed, the magnitude of the differences was comparable with the variability observed between generations of the same population. In general, the toxin was not highly toxic to larvae and estimated LC50 and EC50 values were several times higher than those reported for lepidopteran-specific Cry toxins by using similar bioassay techniques. These results suggest that the observed susceptibility differences reflect natural variation in Bt susceptibility among rootworm populations and provide a baseline for estimating potential shifts in susceptibility that might result from selection and exposure to Cry3Bb1- expressing corn hybrids.