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Bollworm resistance to Bt cotton problematic for southern farmers

The GLP curated this excerpt as part of a daily selection of biotechnology-related news, opinion and analysis.

From the Carolinas to Texas, the cotton bollworm is leading an assault on Bt cotton again [in 2017].

Growing resistance to the Bt traits found in the most common cotton varieties is proving problematic as southern states face another large population of the pest, said North Carolina State University Extension Entomologist Dominic Reisig.

“We’re seeing earlier and higher bollworm populations than normal,” he said. “As the season progresses, that means we’ll see more generations of the insect.”

For now, entomologists are trying to get growers reacquainted with how to scout for bollworm eggs and caterpillars in order to make timely insecticide applications.

[In 2016] Texas A&M Extension entomologist David Kerns confirmed that some bollworm populations are resistant to Cry1Ac, the Bt protein found in both Monsanto’s Bollgard II and Dow AgroSciences’ WideStrike cotton varieties.

Now Kerns has also confirmed that some populations tested from Louisiana and Tennessee [in 2016] have resistance to Cry2Ab — the second protein found in Bollgard II. Nor can growers lean on the second protein in WideStrike cotton, Cry1F, which has only sublethal effects on the bollworm, Reisig said.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Worm Rebellion Continues

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