China could crack down on fall armyworm pest invasion with GMO insect-resistant Bt corn

fall armyworm mgmt
Field trial shows insect-resistant GMO corn could help fend off armyworm outbreak
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Due to its wide host range, high reproductive and dispersal capacity, the fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith), which is native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas, has become a major invasive pest on corn (Zea mays L.). It is rapidly spreading in Africa, the Near East and Asia. In December 2018, FAW was first found in Yunnan Province in China and has since spread quickly throughout the country, posing a serious economic threat to China’s crop production.

Presently, FAW has been reported from all but five provinces (municipalities) in the North West and North East. This large area includes about 13 million hectares of corn, the favored crop of this destructive pest. FAW is expected to cause much greater harm to China’s agricultural production than the cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner). Consequently, considerable effort is being devoted to developing strategies to minimize damage caused by this invasive pest.

s s gr
Occurrence and Movement of S. frugiperda (fall armyworm) in China.

Chemical insecticides are widely used for FAW management worldwide but also have limitations. Their efficacy is highly dependent on timing because FAW caterpillars are usually found in corn whorls where they are largely protected from insecticide treatments. Furthermore, over-reliance on chemical insecticides does not meet the strategic aim of achieving sustainable agricultural development in China, and, due to extensive application, FAW has developed resistance to multiple commonly used insecticides.

Related article:  Anti-GMO Advocacy Funding Tracker: Vast network of donors and NGOs seed doubt about crop biotechnology

Globally, FAW has been found to be resistant to over 30 active ingredients of insecticides from all major classes. Moreover, genome-wide sequencing analysis revealed that FAW populations invading China already carry resistance to organophosphate and pyrethroid insecticides

Another strategy is to use genetically engineered (GE) corn that is resistant to FAW. GE crop varieties producing insecticidal crystalline (Cry) proteins and/or vegetative insecticidal proteins (Vip) derived from Bt that are selectively toxic to different insect species, are planted in many parts of the world to manage caterpillar pests, often reaching more than 80% adoption levels.

The high adoption levels, together with high control efficacy provided by the technology, has led to area-wide population reductions in some pests. In the Americas, the use of Bt corn hybrids is widely used to manage FAW. There is strong evidence available from the growing of Bt crops in general that they can reduce the use of chemical insecticides and benefit natural pest control due to the narrow spectrum of activity of the deployed Cry and Vip proteins.

Read the original post

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
sperm swim

Video: Sperm are ‘spinners not swimmers’—because they are lopsided

Research by fertility scientists in the UK and Mexico challenges the accepted view of how sperm “swim”, suggesting that it ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
breastfeeding bed x facebook x

Infographic: We know breastfeeding helps children. Now we know it helps mothers too

When a woman becomes pregnant, her risk of type 2 diabetes increases for the rest of her life, perhaps because ...
biotechnology worker x

Can GMOs rescue threatened plants and crops?

Some scientists and ecologists argue that humans are in the midst of an "extinction crisis" — the sixth wave of ...
food globe x

Are GMOs necessary to feed the world?

Experts estimate that agricultural production needs to roughly double in the coming decades. How can that be achieved? ...
eating gmo corn on the cob x

Are GMOs safe?

In 2015, 15 scientists and activists issued a statement, "No Scientific consensus on GMO safety," in the journal Environmental Sciences ...
Screen Shot at PM

Charles Benbrook: Agricultural economist and consultant for the organic industry and anti-biotechnology advocacy groups

Independent scientists rip Benbrook's co-authored commentary in New England Journal calling for reassessment of dangers of all GMO crops and herbicides ...
Screen Shot at PM

ETC Group: ‘Extreme’ biotechnology critic campaigns against synthetic biology and other forms of ‘extreme genetic engineering’

The ETC Group is an international environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Canada whose stated purpose is to monitor "the impact of emerging technologies and ...
Share via
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend