Hybridized cotton reverses resistance of pink bollworm to Bt cotton

in Southwest Farm Press

Researchers with the University of Arizona and China discovered a surprising strategy to reverse pink bollworm resistance to genetically engineered cotton.

Cotton growers have been able to use genetically engineered cotton to fight the pink bollworm. This has happened as scientists have been able to produce pest-killing proteins from the widespread soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt. Without adequate countermeasures, scientists have discovered that pests can quickly evolve resistance. Continue reading

Concho Valley Cotton Conference set for March 7 in San Angelo

by Steve Byrnes, Texas A&M AgriLife

The 13th Concho Valley Cotton Conference conducted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is set for 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. March 7 at McNease Convention Center, 500 Rio Concho Drive in San Angelo.

“There’s a lot of new information relating to West Texas cotton production, and this biennial conference is a good place to catch up on what’s going on,” said Josh Blanek, AgriLife Extension agent in Tom Green County. Continue reading

Predators delay pest resistance to Bt crops

Crops genetically modified with the bacterium Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) produce proteins that kill pest insects. Steady exposure has prompted concern that pests will develop resistance to these proteins, making Bt plants ineffective.

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Scientists discover how insects resist Bt pesticides

For the first time, researchers have identified how cabbage looper caterpillars in the field develop resistance to the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which naturally occurs in the soil and on plants and has been developed into the most successful and widely used biological insecticide.

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Higher Crop Returns Don’t Negate Need for Thoughtful Pest Management

When corn prices suddenly rose dramatically in 2007, Illinois researchers reported that some farmers were willing to do anything to increase their yields. Many of them used products to combat pests that they didn’t even have.

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Researchers Validate Resistance Management Practices for Bt-crops

Crops genetically engineered with the toxin Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) have been grown in the United States since 1996. Since then, concerns about pest resistance have grown, mainly because of observed resistance of the cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa zea), a major pest of cotton. According to a 2009 published study in the Journal of Economic Entomology, insect resistance to Bt can be monitored and prevented.

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Are Bt Crops a Silver Bullet or a Looming Disaster?

Cotton growers know the pest as the bollworm. Corn growers call it corn earworm. Tomato growers don it tomato fruitworm. By any name, the pest is Helicoverpa zea, and it’s the first pest to develop resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis.

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