Field-Evolved Resistance of Northern and Western Corn Rootworm (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) Populations to Corn Hybrids Expressing Single and Pyramided Cry3Bb1 and Cry34/35Ab1 Bt Proteins in North Dakota.J Econ Entomol. 2019 08 03; 112(4):1875-1886.JE
Northern, Diabrotica barberi Smith & Lawrence, and western, D. virgifera virgifera LeConte, corn rootworms (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) are major economic pests of corn, Zea mays L., in North America. Corn hybrids expressing Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner (Bt) toxins are commonly used by growers to manage these pests. Several cases of field-evolved resistance to insecticidal proteins expressed by Bt corn hybrids have been documented in many corn-producing areas of North America, but only for D. v. virgifera. In 2016, beetles of both species were collected from five eastern North Dakota corn fields and reared in a growth chamber. In 2017, larvae reared from those populations were subjected to single-plant bioassays to screen for potential resistance to Cry3Bb1, Cry34/35Ab1, and pyramided Cry3Bb1 + Cry34/35Ab1 Bt toxins. Our results provide the first documented report of field-evolved resistance in D. barberi to corn hybrids expressing Cry3Bb1 (Arthur problem population) and Cry34/35Ab1 (Arthur and Page problem populations, and the Ransom and Sargent populations) proteins in North America. Resistance to Cry3Bb1 was also observed in the Ransom population of D. v. virgifera. Increased larval survival on the pyramided Cry3Bb1 + Cry34/35Ab1 hybrid was observed in both species. No cross-resistance was evident between Cry3Bb1 and Cry34/35Ab1 in any of the D. barberi populations tested. Our experiments identified field-evolved resistance to Bt toxins in some North Dakota populations of D. barberi and D. v. virgifera. Thus, more effective control tools and improved resistance management strategies are needed to prolong the durability of this technology for managing these important pests.