European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), has historically been a significant economically important insect pest of corn (Zea mays L.) in the United States and Canada. The development in the 1990s of genetically modified corn expressing genes derived from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) that encodes insecticidal crystalline (Cry) proteins has proven to be effective in controlling this insect as well as other corn pests. The purpose of this study was to assess the movement and dispersal behavior of neonate European corn borer on Bt corn. We examined differences in neonate European corn borer dispersal behavior for the first 4 h after eclosion in the field among a stacked pyramid (Cry1F × Cry1Ab × Cry34/35Ab1) Bt corn, a Cry1F Bt corn, and a non-Bt sweet corn; and in the laboratory among a Bt corn hybrid containing Cry1F, a hybrid containing Cry1Ab, a pyramid combining these two hybrids (Cry1F × Cry1Ab), and a non-Bt near isoline corn. In field experiments, we found that dispersal was significantly higher on Bt corn compared with sweet corn. In laboratory experiments, dispersal was significantly higher on Cry1Ab Bt corn and Cry1F × Cry1Ab Bt corn than on non-Bt near isoline corn. Results indicated that neonate dispersal may be significantly greater in Bt cornfields compared with non-Bt cornfields. The findings on dispersal behavior in this study will be useful in evaluating the efficacy of a blended seed refuge system for managing European corn borer resistance in Bt corn.
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Vol. 105 • No. 4