The effects of maize, Zea mays L., phenology on establishment, damage, and adult emergence of the western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, on MON863 transgenic maize expressing the Cry3Bb1 protein and its isoline was evaluated in field trials in 2002 and 2003. As expected, plant damage, western corn rootworm larval recovery, and adult emergence were significantly lower on MON863 than isoline maize. The average weight of larvae and adults recovered from MON863 and isoline maize was generally not significantly different. If western corn rootworm larvae were able to establish on transgenic rootworm-resistant plants, larval growth was relatively normal. Plant damage, the number of western corn rootworm larvae recovered, and adult emergence from MON863 did not significantly differ between egg hatch times from widely varying phenologies in either year of the study. Although the extractable level of Cry3Bb1 decreased significantly from vegetative (V)4 to V9 maize in previous studies, in the current study, the amount of Cry3Bb1 did not vary from V3 to R3 in a way that affected neonate survival by western corn rootworm larvae in the field.

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