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Record information and status
Record ID
Date of creation
2012-05-08 14:26 UTC (dina.abdelhakim@cbd.int)
Date of publication
2012-05-08 14:26 UTC (dina.abdelhakim@cbd.int)

General Information
Field-Evolved Insect Resistance to Bt Crops: Definition, Theory, and Data
Bruce E. Tabashnik, J.B.J. Van Rensburg, and Yves Carrière
Author’s contact information
Bruce E. Tabashnik
Email: brucet@ag.arizona.edu

Department of Entomology
University of Arizona
Tucson AZ 85721
  • English
Publication date
Summary, abstract or table of contents

Transgenic crops producing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins for insect pest control have been successful, but their efficacy is reduced when pests evolve resistance. Here we review the definition of field-evolved resistance, the relationship between resistance and field control problems, the theory underlying strategies for delaying resistance, and resistance monitoring methods. We also analyze resistance monitoring data from five continents reported in 41 studies that evaluate responses of field populations of 11 lepidopteran pests to four Bt toxins produced by Bt corn and cotton. After more than a decade since initial commercialization of Bt crops, most target pest populations remain susceptible, whereas field-evolved resistance has been documented in some populations of three noctuid moth species: Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith) to in Bt corn in Puerto Rico, Busseola fusca (Fuller) to Cry1Ab in Bt corn in South Africa, and Helicoverpa zea (Boddie) to Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab in Bt cotton in the southeastern United States. Field outcomes are consistent with predictions from theory, suggesting that factors delaying resistance include recessive inheritance of resistance, abundant refuges of non-Bt host plants, and two-toxin Bt crops deployed separately from one-toxin Bt crops. The insights gained from systematic analyses of resistance monitoring data may help to enhance the durability of transgenic insecticidal crops. We recommend continued use of the long-standing definition of resistance cited here and encourage discussions about which regulatory actions, if any, should be triggered by specific data on the magnitude, distribution, and impact of field-evolved resistance.
Thematic areas
  • Scientific and technical issues
    • Risk assessment
    • Risk management
Background material to the “Guidance on risk assessment of living modified organisms”
Is this document is recommend as background material for the “Guidance on Risk Assessment of Living Modified Organisms”
Section(s) of the “Guidance on Risk Assessment of Living Modified Organisms” this background material is relevant
Additional Information
Type of resource
  • Article (journal / magazine / newspaper)
doi: 10.1603/029.102.0601
Publisher and its location
Entomological Society of America
Lanham, MD, USA
© 2009 Entomological Society of America
15 page PDF
Journal of Economic Entomology
Keywords and any other relevant information
Keywords: resistance, genetically engineered crops, transgenic crops, Bacillus thuringiensis, evolution

Citation: J. Econ. Entomol. 102(6): 2011 2025 (2009)