Biotech Updates

Bt Indian Mustard as Trap Crop for DBM

November 16, 2007

Aside from the commercial value of plants expressing the Bt gene, they can also be used as a bait in the biocontrol strategy of trap cropping. Trap crop strategies offer ways to eliminate/minimize pesticide use and preserve natural enemies of crop pests while increasing or maintaining crop yield. A trap plant is used to lure  pests away from the main crop. The Indian mustard has been tested for use as a trap crop for protection of cabbage from the diamondback moth (DBM). Scientists from the Cornell University constructed “dead-end” trap crops by introducing the cry1 Bt genes to  Indian mustard. DBM has a higher ovipositional preference for Indian mustard as compared to cabbage (ratio >11). Insect bioassays indicated that both the cry1C and cry1Ac plants were toxic to susceptible DBM. In addition for its use as a trap crop, Bt Indian mustard could also be useful for direct control of lepidopteran pests, if deployed as a commercial crop.

Read the abstract at Subscribers can read the full paper at