Relationship between European corn borer resistance and concentration of mycotoxins produced by Fusarium spp. in grains of transgenic Bt maize hybrids, their isogenic counterparts, and commercial varieties

T. Magg, A. E. Melchinger, D. Klein, M. Bohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The European corn borer (ECB), Ostrinia nubilalis Hb., is a major pest of maize in central Europe and promotes the infection of maize with Fusarium spp. In this study, transgenic Bt maize hybrids were compared with their isogenic counterparts, and with commercial hybrids from the recommended list with regard to their level of ECB resistance and their concentration of deoxynivalenol (DON), its 15-acetyl (15-A-DON) and 3-acetyl (3-A-DON) derivatives, nivalenol (NIV), fusarenon-X (FUS-X), fumonisins (FUM), and zearalenon (ZEN) in harvested grains. The field experiments were performed in Germany at four locations in 1999 and at five locations in 2000. Transgenic Bt hybrids showed significantly lower means than their corresponding isogenic counterparts and than commercial hybrids for all resistance traits: damage rating of stalks, number of larvae per plant, number of larvae per ear, and percentage of damaged plants or ears under infestation. Among all mycotoxins analysed, DON consistently showed the highest concentration across all year x location combinations. Mycotoxin concentrations varied significantly between locations, years and genotypes, whereas mycotoxin concentrations were not significantly different between infested and protected plots. Associations between ECB resistance traits and mycotoxin concentrations were not consistent across years. It is concluded that under central European conditions, the use of Bt maize hybrids will only slightly reduce the contamination of maize kernels with mycotoxins produced by Fusarium spp.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-154
Number of pages9
JournalPlant Breeding
Volume121
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2 2002
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bacillus thuringiensis
  • Fusarium spp.
  • Mycotoxin concentration
  • Ostrinia nubilalis
  • Transgenic maize
  • Zea mays

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science

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