Entomologia Experimentalis Et Applicata, 101(3):265-272, 2001. Paper abstract bibtex
Survival and fecundity of Colorado potato beetle adults, Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say), that had or had not fed previously on non-transgenic potato before exposure to transgenic potato containing the Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. tenebrionis Cry3A toxin (Bt) was investigated. In the laboratory, < 5% of first-generation adults survived after two weeks when restricted to Bt foliage since eclosion, but over 85% of adults that had fed initially on non-Bt potato survived exposure to Bt potato for two weeks. In field experiments, less than 0.5% of adults that were exclusively provided Bt potato plants survived overwinter, whereas 44% to 57% survived overwinter when fed non-Bt potato plants for two weeks before being provided Bt potato as a final pre-overwintering host. Survival through the winter increased as the duration of initial feeding on non-Bt potato increased and was similar for beetles provided either tubers or Bt potato plants as a final pre-overwintering host. Only overwintered beetles that fed initially on non-Bt potato before encountering either tubers or Bt potato as a final pre-overwintering host laid eggs the following spring. Survival and reproduction of potato beetle adults after colonizing Bt potato fields should not be adversely affected as long as they have had sufficient time to feed initially on non-Bt potato. Implications for how potato production practices in the Mid-Atlantic US may affect the utility of general resistance management plans for Bt potato are discussed.