Commercial field corn (Zea mays L.) hybrids transformed to express some or all of the lepidopteran insect-resistant traits present in SmartStax corn hybrids were evaluated for insecticidal efficacy against a wide range of lepidopteran corn pests common to the northern United States, during 2008 to 2011 at locations in 15 states. SmartStax hybrids contain a pyramid of two Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) derived events for lepidopteran control: event TC1507 expressing Cry1F protein and MON 89034 expressing Cry1A.105 Cry2Ab2. These studies focused on characterization of the relative efficacy of each event when expressed alone or in combination, and compared with non-Bt hybrid. Corn hybrids containing pyramided insecticidal proteins Cry1F Cry1A.105 Cry2Ab2 (SmartStax) consistently showed reduced plant feeding damage by a wide range of lepidopteran larvae compared with single event and non-Bt hybrids. Corn hybrids expressing TC1507 or MON 89034 as single or pyramided events were consistently efficacious against Ostrinia nubilalis (Hiibner). SmartStax hybrids had less injury from Agrotis ipsilon (Hufnagel) and Striacosta albicosta (Smith) than corn hybrids containing only event MON 89034 but were not more efficacious than single event TC1507 hybrids. Corn hybrids with event MON 89034 provided better control of Helicoverpazea (Boddie), than event TC1507 alone. Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) efficacy was higher for hybrids with pyramid events and single events compared with the non-Bt hybrids. The spectra of activity of events TC1507 and MON 89034 differed. The combination of TC1507 MON 89034 provided redundant control of some pests where the spectra overlapped and thereby are expected to confer a resistance management benefit.
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