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Crop Biotech Update

Bt Eggplant Performance in the Philippines for the Control of the Eggplant Fruit and Shoot Borer

June 22, 2016

Eggplant (Solanum melongena) is a vegetable grown throughout Asia that is ravaged by the eggplant fruit and shoot borer (EFSB) , Leucinodes orbonalis, prompting farmers to treat it heavily with insecticides. While Bt technology has been used for controlling insect pests in maize and cotton, there have been only few Bt vegetable crops.

Dr. Desiree Hautea and her team from the Institute of Plant Breeding/ Crop Science Cluster of the University of the Philippines Los Baños, together with collaborators from Cornell University and the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) now present data on the field performance of Bt eggplant in the Philippines.

Replicated field trials with five Bt eggplant open-pollinated (OP) lines and their non-Bt counterparts were conducted for three cropping seasons in the biggest eggplant growing province of Pangasinan from 2010–2012. The trials evaluated levels of Cry1Ac protein in plants and evaluated their efficacy against EFSB.

The Bt eggplant exhibited excellent control of EFSB and were significantly better than their non-Bt counterparts in all parameters tested. These results show how Bt eggplant lines effectively control EFSB, which can greatly reduce the need for conventional insecticides.

For more on this study, read the full article in Plos One.