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J Econ Entomol. 2004 Oct;97(5):1699-709.

Relative fitness of Cry1A-resistant and -susceptible Helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) on conventional and transgenic cotton.

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CSIRO Entomology, GPO Box 1700, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia.


Glasshouse and laboratory experiments were conducted to evaluate the relative fitness of Cry1A-susceptible and laboratory-selected resistant strains of Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner). Life history parameters of H. armigera larvae feeding on young cotton plants showed a significant developmental delay of up to 7 d for the resistant strain compared with the susceptible strain on non-Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton. This fitness cost was not evident on artificial diet. There was no developmental delay in the F1 hybrid progeny from the reciprocal backcross of the resistant and susceptible strains, indicating that the fitness cost is recessive. In two cohorts tested, survival to pupation of resistant larvae on Bt cotton expressing Cry1Ac was 54 and 51% lower than on non-Bt cotton, whereas all susceptible and F1 larvae tested on Cry1Ac cotton were killed. Mortality of susceptible larvae occurred in the first or second instar, whereas the F1 larvae were able to develop to later instars before dying, demonstrating that resistance is incompletely recessive. The intrinsic rate of increase was reduced by >50% in the resistant strain on Cry1Ac cotton compared with the susceptible strain on non-Bt cotton. There was a significant reduction in the survival of postdiapausal adults from the resistant strain and the F1 strains, indicating that there is a nonrecessive overwintering cost associated with Cry1A resistance in H. armigera.

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