Transgenic corn hybrids that express toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are highly effective against the European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner), and the closely related Asian corn borer, Ostrinia furnacalis (Guenée). Since the registration of Bt corn hybrids in the U.S. in 1996, there has been a great deal of information generated on O. nubilalis. However, relatively little information exists for O. furnacalis. To help determine whether the information generated for O. nubilalis can be leveraged for decisions regarding the use of transgenic Bt corn against O. furnacalis, experiments were designed to determine whether the pattern of sensitivity to various Bt Cry1 toxins is similar between the two species. Test insects included laboratory-reared O. furnacalis originating from Malaysia, a Bt-susceptible laboratory colony of O. nubilalis maintained at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and an out-group consisting of the sugarcane borer, Diatraea saccharalis (F.), from Louisiana which represents a different genus from the same family. O. furnacalis and O. nubilalis exhibited a similar pattern of susceptibility to all the Cry1 toxins and were highly susceptible to the range of Bt toxins tested including Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac and Cry1F. Both of the Ostrinia species were more tolerant to Cry1Ba compared with D. saccharalis, although sensitivity of O. furnacalis was intermediate and did not differ significantly from that of O. nubilalis and D. saccharalis. D. saccharalis was also susceptible to the range of toxins tested but unlike the two Ostrinia species, was more tolerant to Cry1F and more susceptible to Cry1Ba. These results indicate that both of the Ostrinia corn borer species are similar in sensitivity to the Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac, Cry1Ba and Cry1F toxins, thus suggesting shared toxin receptors and mechanisms of toxicity for the two species.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science