Sugarcane borer host selection and parasitism by Cotesia flavipes as affected by transgenic sugarcane expressing snowdrop lectin were evaluated in choice and no-choice conditions. In olfactometer experiments, C. flavipes randomly visited the different odor zones but significantly spent more time in the odor zones with sugarcane borer damaged plant materials. However, C. flavipes females were unable to differentiate between odors of damaged transgenic and non-transgenic sugarcane. Parasitism studies in field-cage experiments and on stalk-pieces in the laboratory showed that C. flavipes equally parasitized sugarcane borer feeding on transgenic (19-28%) and non-transgenic (24-30%) plants. Moreover, the sex ratio and size of the brood obtained from parasitized larvae did not vary with the host larval diet. Results of these studies suggested that snowdrop lectin-expressing transgenic sugarcane would not hamper the parasitism and biological control of sugarcane by C. flavipes.
The ESA 2001 Annual Meeting - 2001: An Entomological Odyssey of ESA