One susceptible and three Cry1Ac-resistant strains of tobacco budworm, Heliothis virescens (F.) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), were used in laboratory studies to determine the level of cross-resistance between the Bacillus thuringiensis (Berliner) toxins Cry1Ac and Vip3A by using concentration–mortality and leaf tissue experiments. Concentration–mortality data demonstrated that the three Cry1Ac-resistant H. virescens strains, YHD2, KCBhyb, and CxC, were at least 215- to 316-fold resistant to Cry1Ac compared with the susceptible strain, YDK. Results from Vip3A concentration–mortality tests indicated that mortality was similar among all four H. virescens strains. Relative larval growth on Cry1Ac reflected concentration–mortality test results, because YHD2 larval growth was mostly unaffected by the Cry1Ac concentrations tested. Growth ratios for KCBhyb and CXC indicated that they had a more moderate level of resistance to Cry1Ac than did YHD2. Relative larval growth on Vip3A was highly variable at lower concentrations, but it was more consistent on concentrations of Vip3A above 25 μg/ml. Differences in larval growth among strains on Vip3A were not as pronounced as seen in Cry1Ac experiments. Mortality and larval growth also was assessed in leaf tissue bioassays in which YDK, CxC, and KCBhyb neonates were placed onto leaf disks from non-Bt and Bt cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L., for 5 d. Three Bt lines were used in an initial bioassay and consisted of two Vip3A-containing lines, COT203 and COT102, and a Cry1Ac-producing line. Mortality of KCBhyb and CXC was lower than that of YDK larvae in the presence of leaf tissue from the Cry1Ac-producing line. Additionally, increased larval growth and leaf tissue consumption on Cry1Ac-containing leaf disks was observed for KCBhyb and CXC. Mortality and larval weights were similar among strains when larvae were fed leaf tissue of either non-Bt, COT203, or COT102. A subsequent leaf tissue bioassay was conducted that evaluated four cotton lines: non-Bt, Cry1Ab-expressing, Vip3A-expressing, and pyramided-toxin plants that produced both Cry1Ab and Vip3A. Mortality levels were similar among strains when fed non-Bt, Vip3A-expressing, or pyramided-toxin leaf tissues. Mortality was higher for YDK than for KCBhyb or CXC on Cry1Ab-expressing leaf tissues. No differences in larval weights were observed among strains for any genotype tested. Results of these experiments demonstrate that cross-resistance is nonexistent between Cry1Ac and Vip3A in H. virescens. Thus, the introduction of Vip3A-producing lines could delay Cry1Ac-resistance evolution in H. virescens, if these lines gain a significant share of the market.
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Vol. 100 • No. 1