The Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say, is the major insect pest of potato, Solanum tuberosum L., in eastern North America and is renowned for resistance development, currently resistant to >40 insecticides worldwide. Host plant resistance may assist in delaying in resistance development to insecticides. We evaluated natural host plant resistance mechanisms (glandular trichomes and Solanum chacoense Bitter-derived resistance) and engineered resistance mechanisms (Bacillus thuringiensis [Bt] Berliner cry3A and cry1Ia1) in a no-choice cage study. Six different potato lines representing four host plant resistance mechanisms were evaluated over 2 yr. Egg masses were placed in each cage (one egg mass per plant). Almost no feeding was observed in the Bt-cry3A lines, and only minor feeding was observed in the Bt-cry1Ia1 lines in either year. On the S. chacoense-derived line, there was significantly less defoliation than on either the susceptible line or the glandular trichome line in 2003. In 2004, there was significantly higher defoliation on the S. chacoense-derived line than on the susceptible line or glandular trichome line. The defoliation of the Solanum chacoense-derived line was largely due to larvae clipping the petioles, rather than consumption of the leaves. Defoliation on the glandular trichome line did not differ significantly from the defoliation of the susceptible line, suggesting glandular trichomes may not be effective in controlling larvae and preventing defoliation. This study suggested that Bt can provide high levels of resistance, but the natural resistance mechanisms tested here are variable for control of Colorado potato beetle larvae in no-choice situations.
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Vol. 100 • No. 2