The frequency and severity of corn ear damage caused by western bean cutworm, Striacosta albicosta (Smith), were measured on transgenic corn, Zea mays L., hybrids expressing two different insecticidal Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) (Berliner) Cry toxins (Bt) selected to protect against damage caused by larval European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner). A field cage experiment deliberately infested with western bean cutworm egg masses resulted in less damage in the hybrid expressing the Cry1F protein and supported fewer western bean cutworm larvae than its non-Bt isoline. Corn hybrids expressing Cry1F, grown in small plot field experiments at three locations over two separate years and exposed to natural western bean cutworm infestations suffered less damage than non-Bt or Bt-hybrids expressing a Cry1Ab protein. Later maturing hybrids suffered more damage than shorter-season hybrids. Finally, corn ears observed in strip trials for several years in diverse agronomic conditions in farmer-cooperator fields corroborated the in-plant protection conferred by corn hybrids expressing the Cry1F protein in small plot field trials.
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Vol. 101 • No. 2