Genetically modified plants expressing insecticidal proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) offer valuable options for managing insect pests with considerable environmental and economic benefits. Despite the benefits provided by Bt crops, the continuous expression of these insecticidal proteins imposes strong selection for resistance in target pest populations. Bt maize (Zea mays) hybrids have been successful in controlling fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda), the main maize pest in Brazil since 2008; however, field-evolved resistance to the protein Cry1F has recently been reported. Therefore it is important to assess the possibility of cross-resistance between Cry1F and other Cry proteins expressed in Bt maize hybrids. In this study, an F2 screen followed by subsequent selection on MON 89034 maize was used to select an S. frugiperda strain (RR) able to survive on the Bt maize event MON 89034, which expresses the Cry1A.105 and Cry2Ab2 proteins. Field-collected insects from maize expressing the Cry1F protein (event TC1507) represented most of the positive (resistance allele-containing) (iso)families found. The RR strain showed high levels of resistance to Cry1F, which apparently also conferred high levels of cross resistance to Cry1A.105 and Cry1Ab, but had only low-level (10-fold) resistance to Cry2Ab2. Life history studies to investigate fitness costs associated with the resistance in RR strain revealed only small reductions in reproductive rate when compared to susceptible and heterozygous strains, but the RR strain produced 32.2% and 28.4% fewer females from each female relative to the SS and RS (pooled) strains, respectively. Consistent with the lack of significant resistance to Cry2Ab2, MON 89034 maize in combination with appropriate management practices continues to provide effective control of S. frugiperda in Brazil. Nevertheless, the occurrence of Cry1F resistance in S. frugiperda across Brazil, and the cross-resistance to Cry1Ab and Cry1A.105, indicates that current Cry1-based maize hybrids face a challenge in managing S. frugiperda in Brazil and highlights the importance of effective insect resistance management for these technologies.
Based on genetic crosses, the inheritance pattern of lufenuron resistance in S. frugiperda was autosomal, incompletely recessive and polygenic. Implications of this finding to IRM are discussed in this paper.
The resistance of fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda, has been characterized to some Cry and Vip3A proteins of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) expressed in transgenic maize in Brazil. Here we evaluated the effective dominance of resistance based on the survival of neonates from selected Bt-resistant, heterozygous, and susceptible (Sus) strains of FAW on different Bt maize and cotton varieties. High survival of strains resistant to the Cry1F (HX-R), Cry1A.105/Cry2Ab (VT-R) and Cry1A.105/Cry2Ab/Cry1F (PW-R) proteins was detected on Herculex, YieldGard VT PRO and PowerCore maize. Our Vip3A-resistant strain (Vip-R) exhibited high survival on Herculex, Agrisure Viptera and Agrisure Viptera 3 maize. However, the heterozygous from HX-R × Sus, VT-R × Sus, PW-R × Sus and Vip-R × Sus had complete mortality on YieldGard VT PRO, PowerCore, Agrisure Viptera, and Agrisure Viptera 3, whereas the HX-R × Sus and Vip-R × Sus strains survived on Herculex maize. On Bt cotton, the HX-R, VT-R and PW-R strains exhibited high survival on Bollgard II. All resistant strains survived on WideStrike, but only PW-R and Vip-R × Sus survived on TwinLink. Our study provides useful data to aid in the understanding of the effectiveness of the refuge strategy for Insect Resistance Management of Bt plants.
Field-evolved resistance to Cry1F maize in Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) populations in Brazil was reported in 2014. In this study, to investigate fitness costs, we constructed a near-isogenic S. frugiperda-resistant strain (R-Cry1F) using Cry1F-resistant and Cry1F-susceptible strains sharing a close genetic background. A near-isogenic R-Cry1F strain was obtained by eight repeated backcrossings, each followed by sib-mating and selection among resistant and susceptible strains. Fitness cost parameters were evaluated by comparing the biological performance of resistant, susceptible, and heterozygous strains on artificial diet. Fitness parameters monitored included development time and survival rates of egg, larval, pupal, and egg-to-adult periods; sex ratio; adult longevity; timing of preoviposition, oviposition, and postoviposition; fecundity; and fertility. A fertility life table was also calculated. The near-isogenic R-Cry1F strain showed lower survival rate of eggs (32%), when compared with Sus and reciprocal crosses (41 and 55%, respectively). The number of R-Cry1F insects that completed the life cycle was reduced to ∼25%, compared with the Sus strain with ∼32% reaching the adult stage. The mean generation time (T) of R-Cry1F strain was ∼2 d shorter than R-Cry1F♂×Sus♀ and Sus strains. The reproductive parameters of R-Cry1F strain were similar to the Sus strain. However, fewer females were produced by R-Cry1F strain than R-Cry1F♀×Sus♂ and more females than R-Cry1F♂×Sus♀. In summary, no relevant fitness costs are observed in a near-isogenic Cry1F-resistant strain of S. frugiperda, indicating stability of resistance to Cry1F protein in Brazilian populations of this species in the absence of selection pressure.
The genetically modified maize TC1507 event with the cry1F gene (Cry1F maize) has been used to control Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Brazil since the 2009-2010 cropping season. As part of the insect resistance management program, we conducted studies to determine the baseline susceptibility to Cry1F before the widespread planting of Cry1F maize. Subsequently, we evaluated the geographical and temporal variability of susceptibility to this toxin in populations of S. frugiperda collected from major maize-growing regions in Brazil. The baseline susceptibility to Cry1F was determined using a diet-overlay bioassay for a susceptible reference population and four field populations of S. frugiperda. We then monitored the susceptibility to Cry1F in 43 populations of S. frugiperda sampled in nine States of Brazil between 2011 and 2013. In the baseline study, the MIC50 (the concentration that inhibits molting to second instars in 50% of individuals) ranged from 3.59 to 72.47 ng Cry1F toxin per centimeter square. Based on the upper limit of the MIC99 value of the joint analysis from the baseline susceptibility data, the concentrations of 200 and 2,000 ng of Cry1F toxin per centimeter square were defined as diagnostic concentrations for potentially resistant individuals, and these were used to monitor the susceptibility of S. frugiperda to Cry1F. Survival at 2,000 ng Cry1F toxin per centimeter square increased significantly throughout the cropping seasons in S. frugiperda populations from São Paulo, Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul, Bahia, Mato Grosso, Goiás, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Paraná. The highest survival (>50%) was reached in populations collected from Bahia, Mato Grosso, Goiás, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Paraná during the 2012-2013 cropping season. Therefore, a significant decrease in susceptibility to Cry1F was detected in S. frugiperda throughout cropping seasons, especially in regions with intensive maize production in Brazil, according to field-evolved resistance that has been demonstrated in Brazilian populations.
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