Experimental and theoretical landscape influences on Spodoptera frugiperda movement and resistance evolution in contaminated refuge areas of Bt cotton
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Transgenic cotton plants producing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) (Berliner) insecticidal proteins have contributed to the management of key lepidopteran pests. Larval high dispersal rates between non-Bt and Bt plants in landscapes with seed contamination can speed the evolution of insect resistance to Bt plants. We evaluated the effect of Bt and non-Bt cotton plants on the larval dispersal pattern and survival of susceptible, heterozygous and Cry1F-resistant Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) genotypes in pure and contaminated artificial micro-landscape. A computer model was used to analyse the consequences of S. frugiperda larval dispersal behaviour on resistance evolution in refuge areas with different contamination levels and migration of different adult genotype combinations. The biological data from artificial micro-landscape experiments were used in simulations of macro-landscape scales. The Cry1F-resistant genotype avoided non-Bt cotton. The heterozygote had a similar larval dispersal behaviour as the susceptible genotype when non-Bt cotton was the central plant. Our simulations provide evidence that in refuge areas contaminated with Bt cotton plants, the evolution of resistance may be > 75-fold faster in relation to a contamination-free refuge. In conclusion, S. frugiperda resistance management practices on regional scales with contamination-free refuges are important to prevent loss in different crops.
KeywordsCry1F resistance Fall armyworm Larval dispersal Modelling
We thank National Institute of Food and Agriculture, US Department of Agriculture, Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior—Brasil (CAPES)—Finance Code 001, Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) and Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) [FAPESP process details are in the Funding section]. We thank Fernando Semmelroth de Assunção e Amaral (ESALQUSP) for his assistance in the experiments. José Ednilson Miranda (Embrapa Cotton) and Claudia Pio Ferreira (UNESP-Botucatu) helped to improve the final version of the manuscript.
This study was funded by Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) (FAPESP process: 2018/20435-5, 2017/05953-7, 2015/20380-8) for granting the first author with Ph.D. and postdoctorate scholarships and for financing Project No. 2014/16609-7 (FAPESP). This material is also based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, US Department of Agriculture, Hatch Project MIS-151210. WACG, FSR and CO are supported by research fellowship from the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.
All applicable international, national and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of insects were followed.
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