Maize, Zea mays L., has been transformed to express the Cry34Ab1 and Cry35Ab1 proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis strain PS149B1. These two proteins act together as a binary insecticidal protein that is effective against corn rootworm (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) species. The design of the resistance management plan to preserve the long-term durability of this trait largely depends on the level of rootworm mortality induced by Cry34/35Ab1 corn rootworm-protected maize (frequently referred to as “dose” in this context). Here, we report on studies that showed Cry34/35Ab1-expressing maize event 59122 caused 99.1 to 99.98% mortality of western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, larvae, after adjusting adult emergence numbers for density-dependent mortality. In two of three studies, there was a short delay in time to 50% adult emergence from 59122 maize plots compared with control plots, although emergence was completed at approximately the same time from both types of maize. These data support an expectation that alleles conferring resistance to the Cry34/35Ab1 proteins in western corn rootworm will be functionally nearly completely to completely recessive on 59122 maize and that there is unlikely to be assortative mating of Cry34/35Ab1-resistant and susceptible rootworms. When incorporated into simulation models of rootworm adaptation to transgenic maize, these findings suggest that a 20% refuge is likely to be highly effective at prolonging the durability of 59122 maize.
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Vol. 99 • No. 4