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Researcher tracks agricultural overuse of bug-killing technology
Date:2/29/2012

survived exposure to Bt and were thus resistant to the toxin, to reduce the development of Bt-resistant strains.

Western corn rootworm larvae do the most damage to roots, however, and expression of Bt toxins in roots is much lower than in above-ground tissues. This means that the rootworms are getting a much lower dose of specific Cry toxins than the corn borers do, Gray said. Add to that the fact that some growers are ignoring the buffer requirement while also planting Bt corn year after year, he said, and you've got a recipe for resistance.

"We might not be having this conversation if corn was $3 a bushel and growers were asking us where to put their limited resources," he said. "But with these high commodity prices the notion of adding inputs to squeeze out a couple of more bushels seems like cheap insurance."

A paper describing corn producers' failure to adopt integrated pest management practices appeared in the Sept. 27, 2010, Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry.

Gray will present his latest findings at the International Integrated Pest Management Symposium in Memphis, Tenn., in March 2012.


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Contact: Diana Yates
diya@illinois.edu
217-333-5802
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert  

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