Alleles conferring resistance to Cry2Ab toxin occur at a frequency of 0.0033 in Australian populations of Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), and it is evident that detectable levels of resistance predated the introduction of transgenic cotton expressing this toxin. From 2002 until 2006, 10 such resistant alleles were scored. Here, we examine colonies established from five of the 10 isolates by using complementation tests to determine their genetic relationships. The results demonstrate that the resistance in each colony is due to alleles at the same locus and that for each allele the resistance is recessive. This latter finding is in conflict with the frequency of apparently resistant individuals occurring in the initial F2 tests that were used to identify alleles that confer resistance. These frequencies were variable (range 6.7–35.6%, mean 16.2%), but they generally indicated a measure of dominance (i.e., were >6.25% expected for recessive resistance). We hypothesize that this conflict is the result of differences in the genetic background of the laboratory adapted resistant colonies and the initial field isolations.
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Vol. 101 • No. 3