Towards a resistance management strategy for Helicoverpa armigera in Bt-cotton in northwestern China: an assessment of potential refuge crops

Lu, Zhao-Zhi; Zalucki, Myron P.; Perkins, Lynda E.; Wang, Deng-Yuan; Wu, Li-Li
December 2013
Journal of Pest Science;Dec2013, Vol. 86 Issue 4, p695
Academic Journal
Transgenic Bt-cotton now dominates the cotton-growing belt in northwestern China where there are few natural plant refuges to act as sources of moths susceptible to Bt toxin. As an initial step towards developing an insect resistance management (IRM) plan for the pest moth, Helicoverpa armigera, on Bt-cotton in this part of China, we assessed the potential of six crops grown in two configurations to act as refuge hosts for susceptible moth production in both broad-acre and small-holder farms. Egg and larval abundance indicated that H. armigera had a preference for chickpea, pigeon pea, and corn, over cotton, sorghum, and benne (sesame). There were no significant differences in egg or larval abundance between plot and strip configurations of these crop hosts. We found that sorghum was not attractive to H. armigera, contrary to the findings in other cotton production areas. Moreover, chickpea, pigeon pea, and corn were determined to be potential refuge hosts based on egg and larval abundance over the growing season. From the adult moth population dynamics in broad-acre and small-holder farms, the efficiency of alternative refuge crops, and local agricultural practices, we recommend that spring corn be grown as a strip crop as part of an IRM strategy to improve the probability of Bt-susceptible moth production and mating with resistant moths in broad-acre farms. In small-holder farms where current agricultural practices are entrenched, wheat and summer corn should be evaluated as refuge crops in the future.


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