Abstract

Transgenic maize, Zea mays L., event TC1507 produces the Cry1F protein to provide protection from feeding by several important lepidopteran pests, including Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Reports of reduced field performance against this species in Puerto Rico were investigated, and laboratory bioassays showed that S. frugiperda collected from the affected area exhibited lower sensitivity to the Cry1F protein compared with typical colonies from other regions. The resistance was shown to be autosomally inherited and highly recessive. The Puerto Rico colony was shown to be moderately less sensitive than susceptible laboratory strains to Cry1Ab and Cry1Ac, but the differences in sensitivity were dramatically smaller than for Cry1F. Potential contributory factors to the emergence of resistance to Cry1F in Puerto Rico populations of S. frugiperda include the tropical island geography, unusually large population sizes in 2006, and drought conditions reducing the availability of alternative hosts. In response to this resistance incident, the technology providers have stopped commercial sales of TC1507 maize in Puerto Rico pending potential reversion to susceptibility.

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