A series of tests quantified bollworm, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie), and tobacco budworm, Heliothis virescens (F.), larval survival on plant structures of a nontransgenic cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.), ‘Coker 312’, and two transgenic cottons expressing Vip3A protein or both Vip3A Cry1Ab proteins (VipCot). Vegetative and reproductive structures including terminal leaves, flower bud (square) bracts, whole debracted squares, flower petals, flower anthers, and intact capsules (bolls) were harvested from plants in field plots. Each structure was infested with 2-d-old larvae from one of the two heliothine species. Larvae were allowed to feed for 96 h on fresh tissue. Survivorship at 96 h after infestation was significantly lower on all structures of Vip3A and VipCot cotton lines compared with similar structures of Coker 312. VipCot plant structures generally resulted in lower larval survivorship compared with similar structures of the Vip3A cotton line. H. zea survivorship ranged from 4 to 28% and from 1 to 18% on Vip3A and VipCot plant structures, respectively. H. virescens survivorship ranged from 10 to 43% and from 2 to 12% on Vip3A and VipCot plant structures, respectively. H. virescens survivorship was higher on VIP3A plant structures compared with that for H. zea on similar structures. These differences between species were not observed on plants from the cotton line expressing VipCot proteins. The results for these plant structures demonstrate that the combination of proteins expressed in VipCot cotton lines are more effective than Vip3A cotton lines against this heliothine complex.
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Vol. 101 • No. 4