Cry3Bb1-Resistant Strains of Western Corn Rootworm - Hopkinton Strain
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Dario Valenzuela
Senior Commercialization Manager, Life Sciences
Web Published:
An Iowa State University researcher has identified a strain of western corn rootworm that is resistant to Bt toxin Cry3Bvb1, and this strain can be used for probing the basis of resistance and for developing new management strategies.

Development Stage:
Ready for commercialization:  field isolates have been adapted into laboratory strains suitable for propagating multiple generations per year for probing resistance mechanisms and management of resistant populations.

The western corn rootworm is among the most damaging pests of corn crops.  Control costs and economic losses together total over $1 billion annually in the US.  However, the western corn rootworm has overcome conventional strategies such as crop rotation and small molecule insecticides by developing resistance.  While some soil insecticides still afford acceptable protection levels, their potential to cause environmental damage and human health risks has led to the development of transgenic corn lines expressing Bacillus thuringensis (Bt) toxin genes for rootworm control. As more and more transgenic corn with the Bt is grown in the US, the ability to monitor pests for resistance becomes increasingly important.  In addition, understanding the mechanisms that lead to development of pest resistance to Bt corn is important for maximizing the utility of this trait as well as for the development of new management technologies.  As part of a research program related to adaptation by pests to crop rotation and to genetically modified corn that produces insecticidal (Bt) toxins, an ISU investigator has identified populations of western corn rootworm resistant to the Cry3Bb1 protein, the first Bt trait available in the market place.  These populations have subsequently been developed into laboratory strains that may have utility for understanding the genetics and molecular basis of resistance to Bt corn in corn rootworms, as well as for the development of new management technologies for Bt resistant rootworms.

• Laboratory adapted so that multiple generations may be raised per year
• May enable better understanding of resistance mechanisms
• May enable development of new management strategies
Bt resistance monitoring and management

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