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1 October 2003 A Spatially Explicit Model Simulating Western Corn Rootworm (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) Adaptation to Insect-Resistant Maize
Nicholas P. Storer
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A stochastic spatially explicit computer model is described that simulates the adaptation by western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, to rootworm-resistance traits in maize. The model reflects the ecology of the rootworm in much of the corn belt of the United States. It includes functions for crop development, egg and larval mortality, adult emergence, mating, egg laying, mortality and dispersal, and alternative methods of rootworm control, to simulate the population dynamics of the rootworm. Adaptation to the resistance trait is assumed to be controlled by a monogenic diallelic locus, whereby the allele for adaptation varies from incompletely recessive to incompletely dominant, depending on the efficacy of the resistance trait. The model was used to compare the rate at which the adaptation allele spread through the population under different nonresistant maize refuge deployment scenarios, and under different levels of crop resistance. For a given refuge size, the model indicated that placing the nonresistant refuge in a block within a rootworm-resistant field would be likely to delay rootworm adaptation rather longer than planting the refuge in separate fields in varying locations. If a portion of the refuge were to be planted in the same fields or in-field blocks each year, rootworm adaptation would be delayed substantially. Rootworm adaptation rates are also predicted to be greatly affected by the level of crop resistance, because of the expectation of dependence of functional dominance on dose. If the dose of the insecticidal protein in the maize is sufficiently high to kill >90% of heterozygotes and ≈100% of susceptible homozygotes, the trait is predicted to be much more durable than if the dose is lower. A partial sensitivity analysis showed that parameters relating to adult dispersal affected the rate of pest adaptation. Partial validation of the model was achieved by comparing output of the model with field data on population dynamics, and with field data documenting rootworm adaptation to cyclodienes and organophosphates.

Nicholas P. Storer "A Spatially Explicit Model Simulating Western Corn Rootworm (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) Adaptation to Insect-Resistant Maize," Journal of Economic Entomology 96(5), 1530-1547, (1 October 2003).
Received: 6 October 2002; Accepted: 1 May 2003; Published: 1 October 2003

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