Possibly similar genetic basis of resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ab protein in 3 resistant colonies of the sugarcane borer collected from Louisiana, USA.
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The sugarcane borer, Diatraea saccharalis (F.), is a major maize borer pest and a target of transgenic maize expressing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) proteins in South America and the mid-southern region of the United States. Evolution of resistance in target pest populations is a great threat to the long-term efficacy of Bt crops. In this study, we compared the genetic basis of resistance to Cry1Ab protein in 3 resistant colonies of sugarcane borer established from field populations in Louisiana, USA. Responses of larvae to the Cry1Ab protein for the parental and 10 other cross colonies were assayed in a diet-incorporated bioassay. All 3 resistant colonies were highly resistant to the Cry1Ab protein with a resistance ratio of >555.6 fold. No maternal effect or sex linkage was evident for the resistance in the 3 colonies; and the resistance was functionally nonrecessive at the Cry1Ab concentrations of 3.16 g/g, but it became recessive at 10 g/g. In an interstrain complementation test for allelism, the F1 progeny from crosses between any 2 of the 3 resistant colonies exhibited the similar resistance levels as their parental colonies, indicating that the 3 colonies most likely shared a locus of Cry1Ab resistance. Results generated from this study should provide useful information in developing effective strategies for managing Bt resistance in the insect.