Bt hybrids can be an important tool in the integrated management of Fusarium ear rot and possibly Aspergillus ear rots and maize stalk rots. New Bt hybrids now under development promise to provide more complete control of corn earworm and fall armyworm, which should enhance their effects on insect-associated fungi. New events also are being developed for control of coleopteran pests such as corn rootworms (Diabrotica spp.). Control of corn rootworms has the potential to reduce stalk rot by maintaining better root health and reducing physical damage to the roots where the stalk rot fungi can enter the plant. Coleopterans that feed on maize ears and silks, such as adult corn rootworms and sap beetles (family Nitidulidae) can contribute to ear rot (6). If new transgenic hybrids are resistant to these insects, there could be further contributions toward mycotoxin management. Transgenic control of insects and diseases offers an alternative that is much more effective, consistent, economical, and environmentally sound than foliar insecticides.
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