Evolution of Insect Resistance to Transgenic Plants

Bruce E. Tabashnik and Yves Carrière

in Specialization, Speciation, and Radiation

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780520251328
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520933828 | DOI:
Evolution of Insect Resistance to Transgenic Plants

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The remarkable ability of insects to adapt quickly to toxins used to control them threatens agriculture and human health worldwide. The quantity and variety of examples of pesticide resistance also offer opportunities for determining how response to selection is affected by various factors, including behavior, dominance, fitness trade-offs, founder events, gene flow, genetic constraints, haplodiploidy, life-history traits, major and minor genes, multitrophic interactions, and population dynamics. While study of resistance can provide fundamental insights about evolution, efforts to manage resistance enable application and testing of evolutionary theories. In particular, can strategies based on evolutionary principles delay evolution of pest resistance to insecticidal transgenic crops? This chapter deals with the evolution of insect resistance to transgenic plants, focusing on transgenic crops with Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins, Bt toxins and their mode of action, the genetic basis of resistance to Bt toxins, the refuge strategy for delaying pest resistance to Bt crops, insect gene flow between refuges and Bt crops, and pink bollworm resistance to Bt cotton in Arizona.

Keywords: Bacillus thuringiensis; Bt toxins; evolution; insects; transgenic crops; refuge strategy; pest resistance; Arizona; pink bollworm; Bt cotton

Chapter.  11858 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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