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Crop Science Abstract -

Transgenic Corn Evaluated for Resistance to Fall Armyworm and Southwestern Corn Borer


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 37 No. 3, p. 957-962
    Received: Apr 10, 1996

    * Corresponding author(s): pwilliams@dorman.msstate.edu
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  1. W. Paul Williams ,
  2. Jonathan B. Sagers,
  3. John A. Hanten,
  4. Frank M. Davis and
  5. Paul M. Buckley
  1. USDA-ARS Corn Host Plant Resistance Research Unit, Box 9555, Mississippi State, MS 39762
    Northrup King Co., 317-330th St., Stanton MN 55018-4308



Fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith), and southwestern corn borer, Diatraea grandiosella Dyar, are important pests of corn, Zea mays L., in the southern USA. Germplasm lines with moderate levels of resistance to leaf feeding by these pests have been developed and released. Techniques for transforming corn have expanded opportunities for developing corn with higher levels of resistance and additional mechanisms of resistance to various insect pests. In this investigation, transgenic corn hybrids with insecticidal protein from Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki were evaluated for resistance to fall armyworm and southwestern corn borer in field tests and laboratory bioassays. The transgenic hybrids sustained significantly less leaf feeding damage than the resistant check hybrids. Both survival and larval growth were reduced. Growth was also reduced when larvae were fed laboratory diets comprised primarily of lyophilized leaf or husk tissue. Southwestern corn borer larval survival on the transgenic corn hybrids was very low in both the field tests and laboratory bioassays. The high levels of resistance to fall armyworm and near immunity to southwestern corn borer of these transgenic corn hybrids provide the highest levels of resistance documented for fall armyworm and southwestern corn borer.

Joint contribution of USDA-ARS and the Mississippi Agric. and Forestry Exp. Stn. Mississippi Agric. and Forestry Exp. Stn. Journal no. J-8910.

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