Crop Biotech Update

Bt Maize Exhibits Protection Against Stem Borers in Uganda

March 2, 2022

Researchers from National Crops Resources Research Institute, Uganda, conducted a study to analyze the performance of Bt maize MON810 in controlling maize stem borers. The results are published in Crop Protection journal.

African stem borer (Busseola fusca) and the spotted stem borer (Chilo partellus) are among the major insect pests of maize in Uganda. To evaluate the insect resistance trait of Bt maize expressing Cry1Ab, the research team applied artificial infestation to 14 non-commercialized hybrids, including seven pairs of Bt and non-Bt hybrids, three non-Bt commercial hybrids, and a conventional stem borer resistant check from 2014-2016. Results showed stem borer damage was significantly reduced in Bt hybrids than the others. Grain yield was also observed to be higher by 29.4 to 80.5% in Bt hybrids compared to the non-Bt hybrids.

Based on the results, Bt maize has built-in protection against leaf damage and can impede the entry of stem borers on the stems of maize plants, leading to higher yields.

Read the complete findings in Crop Protection.

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