Transgenic cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L., that expresses the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cry1Ac toxin, holds great promise in controlling target insect pests. Evolution of resistance by target pests is the primary threat to the continued efficacy of Bt cotton. To thwart pest resistance evolution, a transgenic cotton culitvar that produces two different Bt toxins, cry1Ac and vip3A genes, was proposed as a successor of cry1Ac cotton. This article reports on levels of Vip3Aa tolerance in Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) populations from the Cry1Ac cotton planting region in China based on bioassays of the F1 generation of isofemale lines. In total, 80 isofemale families of H. armigera from Xiajin county of Shandong Province (an intensive Bt cotton planting area) and 93 families from Anci county of Hebei Province (a multiple-crop system including corn [Zea mays L.], soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.], peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.), and Bt cotton) were screened with a discriminating concentration of both Cry1Ac- and Vip3A-containing diets in 2009. From data on the relative average development rates and percentage of larval weight inhibition of F1 full-sib families tested simultaneously on Cry1Ac and Vip3Aa, results indicate that responses to Cry1Ac and Vip3Aa were not genetically correlated in field population of H. armigera. This indicates that the threat of cross-resistance between Cry1Ac and Vip3A is low in field populations of H. armigera. Thus, the introduction of Vip3Aa/Cry1Ac-producing lines could delay resistance evolution in H. armigera in Bt cotton planting area of China.
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Vol. 103 • No. 6