Understanding the premating movement capability of a pest species is important for developing effective long-term insect resistance management strategies for transgenic crops. The objective was to use a rubidium mark-recapture technique to quantify the short-range, intrafield movement and mating behavior of adult western corn rootworms, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, from their emergence site. The study was conducted in two irrigated, first-year cornfields, each 12-16 ha in size, located near Mead, NE in 2003. One field was planted to a YieldGard® Rootworm transgenic corn hybrid expressing the Cry3Bb1 Bacillus thuringiensis protein targeted to control rootworm larvae. The second field was planted to a conventional, non-transgenic corn hybrid. In the center of each field, corn plants within a 15 x 15 m area were artificially infested with western corn rootworm eggs. The infested plants were treated twice during the period of larval development with a rubidium chloride water solution. Initial beetle movement away from the infested areas was quantified with arrays of cucurbitacin-baited vial traps and Pherocon® CRW Lure Traps surrounding each infested area. Beetles collected in the traps were analyzed for rubidium concentration using graphite furnace atomic absorption spectroscopy. Observations on where mating occurred were also made along transects that extended into the field from the infested areas. Results from the transgenic and non-transgenic fields will be compared and discussed in relation to current refuge recommendations and rootworm resistance management to transgenic corn.
Species 1: Coleoptera Chrysomelidae Diabrotica virgifera virgifera (western corn rootworm)
Keywords: mark-release, rubidium
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