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Resistance evolution in the corn earworm following the release of transgenic corn.

Please join us on Friday, September 17th for our September meeting, kicking off the 2021-2022 year! The meeting will be held on Zoom, with a pre-meeting social starting at 6:30, followed by the usual business meeting at 7:30 and the talk by our speaker. The talk will be screen shared. Afterward we will have a Q&A and members are free to hang around or leave at their leisure afterward. Please email for the Zoom information.

September's speaker will be Dr. Katie Taylor, giving a talk titled Resistance evolution in the corn earworm following the release of transgenic corn.

Abstract: The evolution of resistance to new management technologies is a significant and ongoing challenge in pest management. Early detection of resistance may allow regulatory changes to preserve efficacy of technologies and slow the spread of resistance. Monitoring pest genomes for characteristic signals of selection and adaptation following the release of new technologies could provide an early warning before irreversible and damaging resistance is widespread. We tracked genome-wide changes in a major agricultural pest, the corn earworm (Helicoverpa zea), in the years following deployment of transgenic sweet corn. We identified regions of the genome that underwent significant changes as damaging levels of resistance to Bt Crystal toxins evolved in H. zea and the use of transgenic sweet corn became widespread. We then identified genomic regions functionally linked to Bt toxin resistance using qualitative trait mapping for laboratory crosses between resistant and susceptible populations. Our findings simultaneously suggest promise for the use of genomic resistance monitoring and highlights the challenges associated with genomic resistance monitoring associated with the complex nature of genome evolution.


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