Crop Biotech Update

Evaluation of Pyramided Bt Corn for Sugarcane Borer Management

May 4, 2012

David Wangila from Louisiana State University evaluated the performance of Bt corn with pyramided Bt proteins for resistance to sugarcane borer (Diatraea saccharalis). Through leaf tissue bioassay and greenhouse trials, Wangila determined the survival and plant injury of diffrent sugarcabe borer genotypes (Cry1Ab-susceptible, Cry1Ab-resistant and Cry1Ab–heterozygous) on Bt corn hybrids containing single and pyramided Bt genes. Results of the greenhouse trials and the bioassay showed that the survivorship of the sugarcane borer was low in Bt corn hybrids indicating efficacy of the hybrids against all three insect genotypes.

Wangila also assessed the larval movement in various planting patterns of non-Bt and Bt plants. Results showed that the larvae could move from infected plants at least four plants away, and from the infested rows to adjacent rows. With these findings, it is confirmed that pyramiding of Bt proteins is an efficient strategy in the management of sugarcane borer.

For more information, read the full paper at http://etd.lsu.edu/docs/available/etd-04262012-143532/unrestricted/Wangila_Thesis.pdf.