0881 Effects of four nematode species on fitness costs of pink bollworm resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis toxin Cry1Ac

Tuesday, December 14, 2010: 9:21 AM
Golden West (Town and Country Hotel and Convention Center)
Eugene R. Hannon , Entomology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
Mark Sisterson , USDA - ARS, Parlier, CA
S. Patricia Stock , University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Yves Carrière , University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Bruce E. Tabashnik , Department of Entomology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Aaron J. Gassmann , Department of Entomology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
Evolution of resistance by pests can reduce the efficacy of transgenic crops that produce insecticidal toxins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). In conjunction with refuges of non-Bt host plants, fitness costs can delay the evolution of resistance. Furthermore, fitness costs often vary with ecological conditions, suggesting that agricultural landscapes can be manipulated to magnify fitness costs and thereby prolong the efficacy of Bt crops. In the present study, we tested the effects of four species of entomopathogenic nematodes (Steinernematidae and Heterorhabditidae) on the magnitude and dominance of fitness costs of resistance to Bt toxin Cry1Ac in pink bollworm, Pectinophora gossypiella (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae). Although field populations of pink bollworm have remained susceptible to Bt cotton producing Cry1Ac for more than a decade, we used laboratory strains that had a mixture of susceptible and resistant individuals. In laboratory experiments, dominant fitness costs were imposed by the nematode Steinernema riobrave but no fitness costs were imposed by Steinernema carpocapsae, Steinernema sp. (ML18 strain), or Heterorhabditis sonorensis. In computer simulations, evolution of resistance to Cry1Ac by pink bollworm was substantially delayed by treating some non-Bt cotton refuge fields with nematodes that imposed a dominant fitness cost, similar to the cost observed in laboratory experiments with S. riobrave. Based on the results here and in related studies, we conclude that entomopathogenic nematodes could bolster insect resistance management, but the success of this approach will depend on selecting the appropriate species of nematode, as fitness costs were magnified by only one of four species evaluated.

doi: 10.1603/ICE.2016.50094