Status of resistance to Bt maize in Spodoptera frugiperda: Lessons from Puerto Rico
Nicholas P. Storer, Mary E. Kubiszak, J. Ed King, Gary D. Thompson, Antonio Cesar Santos
Dow AgroSciences LLC, 9330 Zionsville Road, Indianapolis, IN 46268, USA.
In 2006, reports of potential Spodoptera frugiperda resistance to TC1507 maize in Puerto Rico were received. Subsequent investigation confirmed that pest populations collected from several sites in Puerto Rico were largely unaffected by the Cry1F protein in bioassays, with resistance ratios likely in excess of 1000. Since then, we have continued monitoring populations in Puerto Rico and in southern areas of the mainland US. The majority of the collections from Puerto Rico continue to show high levels of Cry1F resistance whereas populations collected from the southern US mainland continue to show full susceptibility to Cry1F and TC1507 maize. It does not appear that resistant populations have spread to any measurable extent from Puerto Rico to mainland US, nor that local selection pressure from Cry1F-expressing maize or cotton production in the southern US has caused a measurable change in population susceptibility.
Lessons learned from Puerto Rico are being applied in other parts of the Americas where TC1507 maize is grown and additional steps being taken to protect the long-term durability of Cry1F in maize in areas where similar selection pressure may be expected. Tactics include using locally-adapted germplasm that contain native Spodoptera resistance, a robust education program to teach end-users about the potential for resistance to develop appropriate crop stewardship, resistance monitoring, and the use of insecticides under high S. frugiperda pressure. Perhaps most importantly, pyramided trait products that produce two or more different Bt proteins are being introduced to further delay resistance development to Cry1F.