First documentation of major Vip3Aa resistance alleles in field populations of Helicoverpa zea (Boddie) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Texas, USA. Academic Article uri icon


  • The corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea, is a major target pest of the insecticidal Vip3Aa protein used in pyramided transgenic Bt corn and cotton with Cry1 and Cry2 proteins in the U.S. The widespread resistance to Cry1 and Cry2 proteins in H. zea will challenge the long-term efficacy of Vip3Aa technology. Determining the frequency of resistant alleles to Vip3Aa in field populations of H. zea is critically important for resistance management. Here, we provided the first F2 screen study to estimate the resistance allele frequency for Vip3Aa in H. zea populations in Texas, U.S. In 2019, 128H. zea neonates per isofamily for a total of 114 F2 families were screened with a diagnostic concentration of 3.0g/cm2 of Vip3Aa39 protein in diet-overlay bioassays. The F2 screen detected two families carrying a major Vip3Aa resistance allele. The estimated frequency of major resistance alleles against Vip3Aa39 in H. zea in Texas from this study was 0.0065 with a 95% CI of 0.0014-0.0157. A Vip3Aa-resistant strain (RR) derived from the F2 screen showed a high level of resistance to Vip3Aa39 protein, with a resistance ratio of >588.0-fold relative to a susceptible population (SS) based on diet-overlay bioassays. We provide the first documentation of a major resistance allele conferring high levels of Vip3Aa resistance in a field-derived strain of H. zea in the U.S. Data generated from this study contribute to development of management strategies for the sustainable use of the Vip3Aa technology to control H. zea in the U.S.

published proceedings

  • Sci Rep

altmetric score

  • 1.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Yang, F., Gonzlez, J., Little, N., Reisig, D., Payne, G., Dos Santos, R. F., ... Kerns, D. L.

citation count

  • 22

complete list of authors

  • Yang, Fei||González, José C Santiago||Little, Nathan||Reisig, Dominic||Payne, Gregory||Dos Santos, Rafael Ferreira||Jurat-Fuentes, Juan Luis||Kurtz, Ryan||Kerns, David L

publication date

  • April 2020