Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Insect resistance to Bt crops can be predicted, monitored and managed

Date:
November 24, 2009
Source:
Entomological Society of America
Summary:
With Bt crop acreage increasing worldwide, incorporating enhanced understanding of observed patterns of field-evolved resistance into future resistance management strategies can help to minimize the drawbacks and maximize the benefits of current and future generations of transgenic crops.

Since 1996, crop plants genetically modified to produce bacterial proteins that are toxic to certain insects, yet safe for people, have been planted on more than 200 million hectares worldwide. The popularity of these Bt crops, named after the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, comes from their ability to kill some major pests, allowing farmers to save money and lessen environmental impacts by reducing insecticide sprays.

However, since insects can evolve resistance to toxins, strategies must be implemented to ensure that Bt crops remain effective. A new study published in the December issue of Journal of Economic Entomology entitled analyzes insect resistance data from five continents, as reported in 41 studies, and concludes that existing theories and strategies can be used to predict, monitor, and manage insect resistance to Bt crops.

According to lead author Dr. Bruce E. Tabashnik, "Resistance is not something to be afraid of, but something that we expect and can manage if we understand it. Dozens of studies monitoring how pests have responded to Bt crops have created a treasure trove of data showing that resistance has emerged in a few pest populations, but not in most others. By systematically analyzing the extensive data, we can learn what accelerates resistance and what delays it. With this knowledge, we can more effectively predict and thwart pest resistance."

Among the authors' conclusions are:

  • The refuge strategy (growing non-Bt crops near the Bt crops) can slow the evolution of insect resistance by increasing the chances of resistant insects mating with non-resistant ones, resulting in non-resistant offspring.
  • Crops that are "pyramided" to incorporate two or more Bt toxins are more effective at controlling insect resistance when they are used independently from crops that contain only one Bt toxin.
  • Resistance monitoring can be especially effective when insects collected from the field include survivors from Bt crops.
  • DNA screening can complement traditional methods for monitoring resistance, such as exposing insects to toxins in the lab.
  • Despite a few documented cases of field-evolved resistance to the Bt toxins in transgenic crops, most insect pest populations are still susceptible.

With Bt crop acreage increasing worldwide, incorporating enhanced understanding of observed patterns of field-evolved resistance into future resistance management strategies can help to minimize the drawbacks and maximize the benefits of current and future generations of transgenic crops.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Entomological Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Bruce E. Tabashnik,J.B.J. Van Rensburg,and Yves Carriere. Field-Evolved Insect Resistance to Bt Crops: Definition, Theory, and Data. J. Econ. Entomol., 102(6): 20112025 (2009)

Cite This Page:

Entomological Society of America. "Insect resistance to Bt crops can be predicted, monitored and managed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091123114646.htm>.
Entomological Society of America. (2009, November 24). Insect resistance to Bt crops can be predicted, monitored and managed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091123114646.htm
Entomological Society of America. "Insect resistance to Bt crops can be predicted, monitored and managed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091123114646.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

Reuters - US Online Video (July 21, 2014) An endangered black rhino baby is the newest resident at the San Diego Zoo. Sasha Salama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

AFP (July 19, 2014) As if it weren't enough that the Queen is the Sovereign of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms, she is also the owner of all Britain's unmarked swans. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins