Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) maize was developed primarily for North American pests such as European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner)). However, most Bt maize products are also cultivated outside of North America, where the primary pests may be different and may have lower susceptibility to Bt toxins. Fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda JE Smith) is an important pest and primary target of Bt maize in Central and South America. S. frugiperda susceptibility to Cry1F (expressed in event TC1507) is an example of a pest-by-toxin interaction that does not meet the high-dose definition. In this study, the behavioral and toxic response of S. frugiperda to Cry1F maize was investigated by measuring the percentage of time naïve third instars spent feeding during a 3-min exposure. S. frugiperda also were exposed as third instars to Cry1F maize for 14 d to measure weight gain and survival. S. frugiperda demonstrated an initial, postingestive aversive response to Cry1F maize, and few larvae survived the 14 d exposure. The role of susceptibility and avoidance are discussed in the context of global IRM refuge strategy development for Bt products.
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