Fitness costs associated with resistance to transgenic crops producing toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) could reduce male response to pheromone traps. Such costs would cause underestimation of resistance frequency if monitoring was based on analysis of males caught in pheromone traps. To develop a DNA-based resistance monitoring program for pink bollworm, Pectinophora gossypiella (Saunders) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), we compared the response to pheromone traps of males with and without cadherin alleles associated with resistance to Bt cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.). When irradiated males from two hybrid laboratory strains with an intermediate frequency of resistance alleles were released in large field cages, the probability of capture in pheromone traps was not lower for males with resistance alleles than for males without resistance alleles. These results suggest that analysis of trapped males would not underestimate the frequency of resistance. As the time males spent in traps in the field increased from 3 to 15 d, the success of DNA amplification declined from 100 to 30%. Thus, the efficiency of a DNA-based resistance monitoring program would be improved by analyzing males remaining in traps for 3 d or less.
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