Responses of transgenic maize hybrids to variant western corn rootworm larval injury

M. E. Gray, K. L. Steffey, R. E. Estes, J. B. Schroeder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 2005 and 2006, transgenic insecticidal maize hybrids (YieldGard Rootworm, MON 863, Cry3Bb1, Vector ZMIR 13L) were evaluated for their ability to limit root injury caused by western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte) larval feeding. Hybrids in each year of the experiment were planted in plots that had been devoted to a trap crop (late-planted maize interplanted with pumpkins) the previous growing season. All maize hybrids were provided by Monsanto Company and the genetic backgrounds remain unknown to the investigators. In 2005, the experiment was conducted in Urbana, Illinois. Urbana is located in east central Illinois, an area of the state in which a variant of the western corn rootworm has overcome the pest management benefits of crop rotation. Variation in root injury was noted across the maize hybrids in 2005 and the level of pruning increased from 20 July to 9 August for most hybrids. In 2006, the experiment was conducted in two locations, Monmouth and Urbana, Illinois. Monmouth is located in north-western Illinois and is within an area of the state in which densities of the variant of the western corn rootworm are lower than in east-central Illinois. In 2006, variation in root protection was again observed across the maize hybrids. Root injury differences among the hybrids were more prominent at the Urbana site. Similar to the previous year, root injury increased from the third week in July to the first week of August at both locations with this increase most noticeable at the Urbana location. We hypothesize that the variant western corn rootworm may be able to inflict more root injury to these transgenic insecticidal maize hybrids than the non-variant population of this species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)386-390
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Applied Entomology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Bacillus thuringiensis
  • Transgenic insecticidal maize hybrids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Insect Science


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