Two transgenic rice (Oryza sativa L.) lines, KMD1 and KMD2 at the R4 generation, transformed with a synthetic cry1Ab gene from Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner, were first evaluated for stem borer resistance in the field during the rice growing season of 1998 in two areas of Zhejiang Province, China. Both KMD1 and KMD2 were highly resistant to the stem borers Chilo suppressalis (Walker) and Scirpophaga incertulas (Walker), and were completely undamaged during the whole rice growing season. In contrast, damage to the plants of the untransformed parental control (Xiushui 11) was in the form of deadhearts or whiteheads. Under natural infestation by the C. suppressalis, the damage to control plants reached a peak of 88.7% of plants and 20.1% of tillers encountered with deadhearts. Under artificial and natural infestation of neonate striped stem borers at the vegetative stage and booting stage, 100% of plants and 25.6% of tillers, 78.9% of plants and 15.6% of productive tillers among artificially infested control plants were observed with the symptom of deadhearts and whiteheads, respectively. Damage to the control plants from artificial infestation by the S. incertulas reached a peak of 97.0% of plants and 22.9% of tillers damaged. The field research indicated that both KMD1 and KMD2 show great potential for protecting rice from attack by these two stem borers.
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