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Keywords:

  • Diatraea grandiosella;
  • resistance detection;
  • insecticide resistance management;
  • Lepidoptera;
  • Crambidae;
  • iso-line family;
  • Zea mays;
  • high dose/refuge strategy

Abstract

Transgenic maize [Zea mays L. (Poaceae)] expressing Bacillus thuringiensis proteins (Bt maize) has become the most important tool for managing stalk borers in maize in the USA. The current strategy for delaying the evolution of resistance in target insects for Bt maize is referred to as high dose/refuge strategy. A key requirement of the strategy is that initial resistance allele frequencies in field insect populations are low (e.g., <0.001). More than 200 iso-line families of the southwestern corn borer, Diatraea grandiosella Dyar (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), a major target stalk borer pest of Bt maize, were developed from Louisiana populations and evaluated for Bt resistance using a modified F2 screening method during 2005. No major resistance alleles were detected in these populations. The results showed that the expected Bt resistance allele frequency in the Louisiana populations was <0.0035 with 95% probability and a detection power of 83.9 ± 0.6%. The F2 screen indicates that Bt resistance allele frequencies in D. grandiosella are low among the Louisiana populations and should meet the rare resistance allele requirement of the ‘high dose/refuge’ strategy.