NuCOTN 33B, a Bt transgenic variety of upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) expressing the insecticidal protein Cry1Ac from Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner sp. kurstaki, was evaluated for resistance to Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) during 1998–2000 in northern China. The results indicated that there was no significant difference in egg densities between NuCOTN 33B and three nontransgenic varieties (DP5415, Zhongmian12, and Shiyuan321) during the season, although the survival of larvae on NuCOTN 33B seemed significantly reduced. High larval densities observed on non-Bt cotton appeared in great contrast to the low larval populations observed on NuCOTN 33B plants during the seasons. In an environment without insecticide sprays, the annual ginned cotton yields in NuCOTN 33B plots, ranging from 1391.17 to 1511.35 kg/ha, were significantly higher than those in non-Bt cotton (340.34–359.58 kg/ha). These high levels of field efficacy for NuCOTN 33B against H. armigera in northern China may pave the way for reduced pesticide applications and an expansion of alternative pest-control strategies.
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Vol. 96 • No. 4