Seasonal levels of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) insecticidal protein and its control efficacy against Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) in Bt transgenic cotton GK19 (carrying a Cry1Ac/Cry1Ab fused gene) and BG1560 (carrying a Cry1Ac gene) were investigated in Tianmen County, Hubei Province, located in the Yangtze River valley of China, in 2001 and 2002. The results showed that the toxin content in Bt cotton changed significantly over time, and that the structure, growth stage, and variety were significant sources of variability. Generally, insecticidal protein levels were high during the early stages of cotton growth; they declined in mid-season, and rebounded in late season. On most dates sampled, the toxin contents in leaf, square, petal, and stamens (including nonovule pistil tissue) were much higher than those in ovule and boll. Compared with BG1560, the expression of Cry1Ac/Cry1Ab protein in GK19 was more variable during the whole growth period of cotton. The field evaluation on larval population dynamics of H. armigera in Bt and conventional cotton showed that the larval densities in BG1560 and GK19 fields decreased, respectively, 92.04 and 81.85% in 2001, and 96.84 and 91.80% in 2002.
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Vol. 98 • No. 1