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Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Measure Concentrations of Cry1Ab Protein in YieldGard® Corn Hybrids

July 30, 2010

The Bt corn technology that makes use of insecticidal protein Cry1Ab from Bacillus thuringiensis, is a distinctive technique for the control of economically important stem borers (Chilo partellus and Sesamia inferens) and to lessen environmental impact through the reduced application of conventional insecticide. S.P. Kamath of Monsanto Research Center and colleagues measured the concentration of Cry1Ab in target tissues of seven YieldGard® corn hybrids. The corn hybrids, all containing the MON810 event, were field tested in 14 locations in India, during the dry season (October–March) of 2005/2006 and wet season (May–October) of 2006.

Young stem borers were observed to initially feed on the leaves of the plant before transferring to bore into the stem. Borers would be effectively controlled if there are high concentration of Cry1Ab in whorl leaf and stem tissues of the plant. During the dry season, the Cry1Ab concentrations ranged from 50.05 to 21.01 ppm in whorl leaf and 9.26 to 3.47 ppm in the stem tissues. Likewise, 19.3 to 11.08 ppm was measured in the whorl leaf, and 14.28 to 4.69 ppm was measured in the stem tissues during the wet season. With these high concentrations on target tissues, the researchers conclude that YieldGard hybrids provide effective management of the two borers.

Read the abstract at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cropro.2010.04.018.