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28 March 2020 Like Parents, Like Offspring? Susceptibility to Bt Toxins, Development on Dual-Gene Bt Cotton, and Parental Effect of Cry1Ac on a Nontarget Lepidopteran Pest
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Abstract

An important step to devise appropriate pest management strategies for armyworms (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner (Bt) crops is to determine the lethal, sublethal, and parental effects of Bt toxins on target and nontarget pest species. Here we documented the susceptibility of black armyworm, Spodoptera cosmioides (Walker), to three Cry toxins and its life-history traits feeding on dual-toxin Bt cotton and an artificial diet containing sublethal concentrations of Cry1Ac. In concentration–response bioassays, black armyworm larvae showed low susceptibility to Cry toxins, with 853 ng/cm2 as the lowest value estimated for the median lethal concentration (LC50). The decreasing rank of toxicity was Cry1F, Cry2Aa, and Cry1Ac. Foliage of dual-toxin Bt cotton varieties (Cry1Ac + Cry1F and Cry1Ab + Cry2Ae) caused higher larval mortality than Cry1Acexpressing cotton. Black armyworms showed reduced larval weight when growing on the Cry1Ac-treated diet, yet they reached adulthood and produced offspring. Interestingly, these larvae were grown on the control diet and showed reduced weight gain associated with the toxin exposure of the previous generation, indicating a parental effect of the exposure to Cy1Ac. The reduced larval weight was recovered in later instars, and there was no significant change in the population fitness of the parental armyworms or their offspring. To our knowledge, this is the first study documenting the parental effects of Bt toxins in insects. These results advance our understanding of potential responses of nontarget species when exposed to Bt toxins and contribute to design pest management programs for armyworms and other nontarget lepidopteran species exposed to Bt crops.

© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.
Marcelo M. Rabelo, João Marcus L. Matos, Silvana M. Orozco-Restrepo, Silvana V. Paula-Moraes, and Eliseu José G. Pereira "Like Parents, Like Offspring? Susceptibility to Bt Toxins, Development on Dual-Gene Bt Cotton, and Parental Effect of Cry1Ac on a Nontarget Lepidopteran Pest," Journal of Economic Entomology 113(3), 1234-1242, (28 March 2020). https://doi.org/10.1093/jee/toaa051
Received: 3 November 2019; Accepted: 4 March 2020; Published: 28 March 2020
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