Application of pyramided traits against Lepidoptera in insect resistance management for Bt crops

Dow AgroSciences LLC, Indianapolis, IN, USA.
GM crops & food 07/2012; 3(3):154-62. DOI: 10.4161/gmcr.20945
Source: PubMed


Since initial launch of insect protected transgenic crops, the most effective strategy to manage the potential for target pests to evolve resistance has been the use of a single mode of action with "high dose" and structured refuge. However, the effectiveness of this strategy is limited if mortality of certain pests does not reach "high dose" criteria, inconsistent implementation of refuges and non-rare resistance alleles. More recently, several pyramided trait products, which include multiple modes of action against key target pests, have been developed. These products offer the potential for dramatically improved resistance management with smaller refuges and less dependence on high mortality of susceptible and heterozygous insects and rare resistance alleles. We show that products such as SmartStax and PowerCore offer compelling resistance management benefits compared with single mode of action products and allow for the option of products containing refuge seed mixtures rather than structured refuges to effectively delay resistance. We conclude that all stakeholders, including technology developers, growers, crop advisors, extensions services and regulatory authorities should continue to encourage the development, deployment and adoption of pyramided trait products for improved pest management and improved resistance management.

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    • "Continuous improvement of crops by incorporating new genes in plant varieties is extremely important for ensuring agricultural productivity in optimal and adverse climactic conditions. Often multiple genes are required to manage a single trait that may need to be deployed over a period of time; for example, multiple genes of insect resistance or herbicide tolerance are needed to manage evolving resistance against chemicals used to suppress pests and weeds in the field (Keweshan et al., 2015; Que et al., 2010; Storer et al., 2012). On the other hand, many important traits are encoded by more than one gene, requiring incorporation of multiple loci. "
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    ABSTRACT: Efficient methods of stacking genes into plant genomes are needed to expedite transfer of multigenic traits to crop varieties of diverse ecosystems. Over two decades of research has identified several DNA recombinases that carryout efficient cis and trans recombination between the recombination sites artificially introduced into the plant chromosome. The specificity and efficiency of recombinases make them extremely attractive for genome engineering. In plant biotechnology, recombinases have mostly been used for removing selectable marker genes and have rarely been extended to more complex applications. The reversibility of recombination, a property of the tyrosine family of recombinases, does not lend itself to gene stacking approaches that involve rounds of transformation for integrating genes into the engineered sites. However, recent developments in the field of recombinases have overcome these challenges and paved the way for gene stacking. Some of the key advancements include the application of unidirectional recombination systems, modification of recombination sites and transgene site modifications to allow repeated site-specific integrations into the selected site. Gene stacking is relevant to agriculturally important crops, many of which are difficult to transform; therefore, development of high-efficiency gene stacking systems will be important for its application on agronomically important crops, and their elite varieties. Recombinases, by virtue of their specificity and efficiency in plant cells, emerge as powerful tools for a variety of applications including gene stacking.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Plant Biotechnology Journal
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    • "Resistance management programs for Bt crops rely on strategies to delay the evolution of resistance, including the high dose-refuge strategy and the use of Bt ''pyramids'' (Storer et al., 2012; Zhao et al., 2005; Tabashnik et al., 2008). Bt pyramid plants are those that produce at least two distinct Bt toxins that are active against the same pest (Tabashnik et al., 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) insecticidal crystal (Cry) proteins are effective against some insect pests in sprays and transgenic crops, although the evolution of resistance could threaten the long-term efficacy of such Bt use. One strategy to delay resistance to Bt crops is to "pyramid" two or more Bt proteins that bind to distinct receptor proteins within the insect midgut. The most common Bt pyramid in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) employs Cry1Ac with Cry2Ab to target several key lepidopteran pests, including the beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua (Hübner), which is a serious migratory pest of many vegetable crops and is increasingly important in cotton in China. While cadherin and aminopeptidase-N are key receptors of Cry1 toxins in many lepidopterans including S. exigua, the receptor for Cry2A toxins remains poorly characterized. Here, we show that a heterologous expressed peptide corresponding to cadherin repeat 7 to the membrane proximal extracellular domain (CR7-MPED) in the S. exigua cadherin 1b (SeCad1b) binds Cry1Ac and Cry2Aa. Moreover, SeCad1b transcription was suppressed in S. exigua larvae by oral RNA interference and susceptibility to Cry1Ac and Cry2Aa was significantly reduced. These results indicate that SeCad1b plays important functional roles of both Cry1Ac and Cry2Aa, having major implications for resistance management for S. exigua in Bt crops. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Journal of Invertebrate Pathology
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    • "The transition to pyramided Bt-maize only is ongoing (Storer et al. 2012b), but the current landscape of Diabrotica-active Bt-maize comprises a mosaic of Bt-maize expressing a single or multiple toxins. This situation poses a challenge, as mosaics could theoretically foster the evolution of resistance to pyramided Bt-maize if WCR evolved resistance to a single toxin Bt-maize that is also used in pyramided Bt-maize (Gould 2003; Zhao et al. 2005; Siegfried and Hellmich 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera; WCR) is a major coleopteran maize pest in North America and the EU, and has traditionally been managed through crop rotation and broad-spectrum soil insecticides. Genetically modified Bt-maize offers an additional management tool for WCR and has been valuable in reducing insecticide use and increasing farm income. A concern is that the widespread, repeated, and exclusive deployment of the same Bt-maize transformation event will result in the rapid evolution of resistance in WCR. This publication explores the potential of WCR to evolve resistance to plant-produced Bt-toxins from the first generation of Diabrotica-active Bt-maize events (MON 863 and MON 88017, DAS-59122-7 and MIR604), and whether currently implemented risk management strategies to delay and monitor resistance evolution are appropriate. In twelve of the twelve artificial selection experiments reported, resistant WCR populations were yielded rapidly. Field-selected resistance of WCR to Cry3Bb1 is documented in some US maize growing areas, where an increasing number of cases of unexpected damage of WCR larvae to Bt-maize MON 88017 has been reported. Currently implemented insect resistance management measures for Bt-crops usually rely on the high dose/refuge (HDR) strategy. Evidence (including laboratory, greenhouse and field data) indicates that several conditions contributing to the success of the HDR strategy may not be met for the first generation of Bt-maize events and WCR: (1) the Bt-toxins are expressed heterogeneously at a low-to-moderate dose in roots; (2) resistance alleles may be present at a higher frequency than initially assumed; (3) WCR may mate in a non-random manner; (4) resistance traits could have non-recessive inheritance; and (5) fitness costs may not necessarily be associated with resistance evolution. However, caution must be exercised when extrapolating laboratory and greenhouse results to field conditions. Model predictions suggest that a 20 % refuge of non-Diabrotica-active Bt-maize can delay resistance evolution in WCR under certain conditions. This publication concludes that further research is needed to resolve the remaining scientific uncertainty related to the appropriateness of the HDR in delaying resistance evolution in WCR, resistance monitoring is essential to detect early warning signs indicating resistance evolution in the field, and that integrated pest management reliant on multiple tactics should be deployed to ensure effective long-term corn rootworm management and sustainable use of Bt-maize.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · Transgenic Research
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