Western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, has overcome crop rotation in several areas of the north central United States. The effectiveness of crop rotation for management of corn rootworm has begun to fail in many areas of the midwestern United States, thus new management strategies need to be developed to control rotation-resistant populations. Transgenic corn, Zea mays L., effective against western corn rootworm, may be the most effective new technology for control of this pest in areas with or without populations adapted to crop rotation. We expanded a simulation model of the population dynamics and genetics of the western corn rootworm for a landscape of corn; soybean, Glycine max (L.); and other crops to study the simultaneous development of resistance to both crop rotation and transgenic corn. Results indicate that planting transgenic corn to first-year cornfields is a robust strategy to prevent resistance to both crop rotation and transgenic corn in areas where rotation-resistant populations are currently a problem or may be a problem in the future. In these areas, planting transgenic corn only in continuous cornfields is not an effective strategy to prevent resistance to either trait. In areas without rotation-resistant populations, gene expression of the allele for resistance to transgenic corn, R, is the most important factor affecting the evolution of resistance. If R is recessive, resistance can be delayed longer than 15 yr. If R is dominant, resistance may be difficult to prevent. In a sensitivity analysis, results indicate that density dependence, rotational level in the landscape, and initial allele frequency are the three most important factors affecting the results.
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Vol. 98 • No. 2