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Toxins 2017, 9(5), 159; doi:10.3390/toxins9050159

Assessment of Inheritance and Fitness Costs Associated with Field-Evolved Resistance to Cry3Bb1 Maize by Western Corn Rootworm

Department of Entomology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA
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Academic Editors: Juan Ferré and Baltasar Escriche
Received: 31 March 2017 / Revised: 4 May 2017 / Accepted: 5 May 2017 / Published: 11 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Insecticidal Bacterial Toxins in Modern Agriculture)
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Abstract

The western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, is among the most serious insect pests of maize in North America. One strategy used to manage this pest is transgenic maize that produces one or more crystalline (Cry) toxins derived from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). To delay Bt resistance by insect pests, refuges of non-Bt maize are grown in conjunction with Bt maize. Two factors influencing the success of the refuge strategy to delay resistance are the inheritance of resistance and fitness costs, with greater delays in resistance expected when inheritance of resistance is recessive and fitness costs are present. We measured inheritance and fitness costs of resistance for two strains of western corn rootworm with field-evolved resistance to Cry3Bb1 maize. Plant-based and diet-based bioassays revealed that the inheritance of resistance was non-recessive. In a greenhouse experiment, in which larvae were reared on whole maize plants in field soil, no fitness costs of resistance were detected. In a laboratory experiment, in which larvae experienced intraspecific and interspecific competition for food, a fitness cost of delayed larval development was identified, however, no other fitness costs were found. These findings of non-recessive inheritance of resistance and minimal fitness costs, highlight the potential for the rapid evolution of resistance to Cry3Bb1 maize by western corn rootworm, and may help to improve resistance management strategies for this pest. View Full-Text
Keywords: Bacillus thuringiensis; maize; Diabrotica virgifera virgifera; fitness cost; inheritance; resistance management; refuge strategy Bacillus thuringiensis; maize; Diabrotica virgifera virgifera; fitness cost; inheritance; resistance management; refuge strategy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Paolino, A.R.; Gassmann, A.J. Assessment of Inheritance and Fitness Costs Associated with Field-Evolved Resistance to Cry3Bb1 Maize by Western Corn Rootworm. Toxins 2017, 9, 159.

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