The western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, and the northern corn rootworm, Diabrotica barberi Smith & Lawrence (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), are major pests of corn (Zea mays L). Several transgenic corn events producing insecticidal toxins derived from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) kill corn rootworm larvae and reduce injury to corn roots. However, planting of Bt corn imposes selection on rootworm populations to evolve Bt resistance. The refuge strategy and pyramiding of multiple Bt toxins can delay resistance to Bt crops. In this study, we assessed the impact of four treatments——1) non-Bt corn, 2) Cry3Bb1 corn, 3) corn pyramided with Cry3Bb1 and Cry34/35Ab1, and 4) pyramided corn with a blended refuge——on survival, time of adult emergence, and size of western and northern corn rootworm. All treatments with Bt corn led to significant reductions in the number of adults that emerged per plot.However, at one location, we identified Cry3Bb1-resistant western corn rootworm. In some cases Bt treatments reduced size of adults and delayed time of adult emergence, with effects most pronounced for pyramided corn. For both species, the number of adults that emerged from pyramided corn with a blended refuge was significantly lower than expected, based solely on emergence frompure stands of pyramided corn and non-Bt corn. The results of this study indicate that pyramided corn with a blended refuge substantially reduces survival of both western and northern corn rootworm, and as such, should be a useful tool within the context of a broader integrated pestmanagement strategy.
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Vol. 108 • No. 2