Susceptibility of Diabrotica virgifera virgifera (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) to the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae when feeding on Cry3Bb1-expressing Bt maize.

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Abstract or Summary

Genetically engineered maize producing the insecticidal protein Cry3Bb1 from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt maize) is protected against corn rootworms (Diabrotica spp.), which are serious maize pests in North America and Europe. The aim of the present study was to investigate the interaction of Bt maize (event MON88017) and the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae for controlling the western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera. Exposure to Cry3Bb1 expressed in Bt maize seedlings resulted in decreased weight gain in D. v. virgifera larvae but did not influence susceptibility to M. anisopliae. Adult beetles were not affected by Cry3Bb1 in their food, but mortality when feeding on maize leaves was higher than when feeding on silk. Adults were more susceptible to the fungus than larvae. The results indicate that the effects of Bt maize and M. anisopliae on D. v. virgifera are additive and that Bt maize does not interfere with the biological control provided by entomopathogenic fungi.

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Susceptibility of Diabrotica virgifera virgifera (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) to the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae when feeding on Cry3Bb1-expressing Bt maize. (held on an external server, and so may require additional authentication details)

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