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PLoS One. 2015 Apr 1;10(4):e0119544. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0119544. eCollection 2015.

Evidence of field-evolved resistance of Spodoptera frugiperda to Bt corn expressing Cry1F in Brazil that is still sensitive to modified Bt toxins.

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Embrapa Recursos Genéticos e Biotecnologia, Brasília, Distrito Federal, Brazil.
Instituto Mato-Grossense do Algodão, Cuiabá, Mato Grosso, Brazil.
Embrapa Recursos Genéticos e Biotecnologia, Brasília, Distrito Federal, Brazil; Departamento de Microbiologia, Universidade de Brasília, Brasília, Distrito Federal, Brazil.
Instituto de Biotecnologia, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México, Cuernavaca, Morellos, Mexico.


Brazil ranked second only to the United States in hectares planted to genetically modified crops in 2013. Recently corn producers in the Cerrado region reported that the control of Spodoptera frugiperda with Bt corn expressing Cry1Fa has decreased, forcing them to use chemicals to reduce the damage caused by this insect pest. A colony of S. frugiperda was established from individuals collected in 2013 from Cry1Fa corn plants (SfBt) in Brazil and shown to have at least more than ten-fold higher resistance levels compared with a susceptible colony (Sflab). Laboratory assays on corn leaves showed that in contrast to SfLab population, the SfBt larvae were able to survive by feeding on Cry1Fa corn leaves. The SfBt population was maintained without selection for eight generations and shown to maintain high levels of resistance to Cry1Fa toxin. SfBt showed higher cross-resistance to Cry1Aa than to Cry1Ab or Cry1Ac toxins. As previously reported, Cry1A toxins competed the binding of Cry1Fa to brush border membrane vesicles (BBMV) from SfLab insects, explaining cross-resistance to Cry1A toxins. In contrast Cry2A toxins did not compete Cry1Fa binding to SfLab-BBMV and no cross-resistance to Cry2A was observed, although Cry2A toxins show low toxicity to S. frugiperda. Bioassays with Cry1AbMod and Cry1AcMod show that they are highly active against both the SfLab and the SfBt populations. The bioassay data reported here show that insects collected from Cry1Fa corn in the Cerrado region were resistant to Cry1Fa suggesting that resistance contributed to field failures of Cry1Fa corn to control S. frugiperda.

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