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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 43 No. 4, p. 1283-1293
    Received: July 29, 2002

    * Corresponding author(s): d-white@uiuc.edu
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Influence of Cry1Ab Protein and Hybrid Genotype on Fumonisin Contamination and Fusarium Ear Rot of Corn

  1. M. J. Clementsa,
  2. K. W. Campbellb,
  3. C. M. Maragosc,
  4. C. Pilcherd,
  5. J. M. Headricke,
  6. J. K. Patakyf and
  7. D. G. White *f
  1. a USDA-ARS-CHPRRU, Mississippi State, MS, 39762
    b Monsanto Company, Monmouth, IL 61462
    c USDA-ARS Mycotoxin Research Unit, Peoria, IL 61604
    d Monsanto Company, Monmouth, IL 61462
    e Monsanto Company, 800 N. Lindbergh Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63167
    f University of Illinois Dep. of Crop Sciences, 1102 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL 61801


Fusarium ear rot of corn (Zea mays L.) is associated with feeding damage from the European corn borer (ECB), Ostrinia nubilalis Hübner, and the corn earworm (CEW), Helicoverpa zea Boddie. Specific transformation events encoding for Cry1Ab protein from Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner (Bt) may reduce Fusarium ear rot and fumonisin concentration in grain by minimizing damage from certain insects. The objective of this study was to determine if effects from Cry1Ab protein in kernels and silks on fumonisin concentration in grain vary depending on the genotype of the hybrid or the predominant insect species. Four Bt corn hybrids and their corresponding nontransgenic, near-isogenic hybrids were compared for ear rot severity and fumonisin concentration in grain in four environments. Treatments included inoculation with F. verticillioides (Sacc.) Nirenb. (Syn = F. moniliforme J. Sheld.) and F. proliferatum (Matsushima) Nirenb., infestation with ECB larvae, infestation with CEW larvae, and controls. Cry1Ab protein from the Mon810 transformation event was associated with reduced ear rot severity when hybrids were not inoculated with Fusarium spp., regardless of whether hybrids were infested or not infested with insects. Cry1Ab protein was associated with reduced fumonisin concentration in grain when ECB was the predominant insect, but not when CEW was the predominant insect. Cry1Ab protein was not associated with reduced fumonisin concentration in grain for the most resistant hybrid pair in this study. Results suggest that Bt hybrids can reduce fumonisin concentration in grain during seasons when ECB is favored, but not during seasons when CEW is favored. Hybrid genotype was an important factor in reducing fumonisin concentration in grain.

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Copyright © 2003. Crop Science Society of AmericaPublished in Crop Sci.43:1283–1293.