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Impact of Cry3Bb1-expressing Bt maize on adults of the western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)
Pest Management Science
  • Michael Meissle, Agroscope Reckenholz-Tanikon Research Station ART
  • Richard L Hellmich, United States Department of Agriculture
  • Jörg Romeis, Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon Research Station ART
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Genetically engineered maize producing insecticidal Cry3Bb1 protein from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is protected from root damage by corn rootworm larvae. An examination was made to establish whether western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera) adults are affected by Cry3Bb1-expressing maize (MON88017) when feeding on above-ground tissue. In laboratory bioassays, adult D. v. virgifera were fed for 7 weeks with silk, leaves or pollen from Bt maize or the corresponding near-isoline. Male, but not female, survival was reduced in the Bt-leaf treatment compared with the control. Female weight was lower when fed Bt maize, and egg production was reduced in the Bt-silk treatment. ELISA measurements demonstrated that beetles feeding on silk were exposed to higher Cry3Bb1 concentrations than beetles collected from Bt-maize fields in the United States. In contrast to silk and pollen, feeding on leaves resulted in high mortality and low fecundity. Females feeding on pollen produced more eggs than on silk. C:N ratios indicated that silk does not provide enough nitrogen for optimal egg production. Direct effects of Cry3Bb1 on adult beetles could explain the observed effects, but varietal differences between Bt and control maize are also possible. The impact of Bt maize on adult populations, however, is likely to be limited.

This article is from Pest Management Science; 67 (2011); 807-814; doi: 10.1002/ps.2117

Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.
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Michael Meissle, Richard L Hellmich and Jörg Romeis. "Impact of Cry3Bb1-expressing Bt maize on adults of the western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)" Pest Management Science Vol. 67 Iss. 7 (2011) p. 807 - 814
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